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Workers Trapped in Wet Concrete After Collapse

Thursday, June 1, 2017

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A dozen workers came away with only minor injuries last week when a building under construction in Oakland, California, partially collapsed.

About 20 crew members were pouring concrete on the second floor of the mixed-use development when the floor fell out from underneath them around 9:30 a.m. on May 26. Firefighters and rescue crews arrived at the scene to find some workers still dangling from scaffolding, and others who had fallen 10 to 15 feet into the wet concrete.

Other workers at the scene assisted rescue crews in extracting those that had fallen into the quicksand-like debris and were stuck up to their knees.

"On-site workers did a great job with assisting those under small debris," said Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Ian McWhorter.

No one was working underneath where the concrete was being poured, and most of the injuries suffered were scrapes and bruises.

The immediate cause of the collapse is unknown, and Peter Melton, a spokesperson for Cal-OSHA, confirmed on the scene that the incident is now an open investigation.

The inspectors “will be looking at the scene, talking to witnesses, speaking with the contractors and looking at safety plans and such,” Melton said.

A spokesperson also told ABC7 News that OSHA had inspected the site because of a complaint in March, but did not issue any citations.

Both the contractor, Johnstone Moyer Inc. (San Carlos, California), and the concrete subcontractor, Largo Concrete Inc. (Tustin, California), have had multiple citations issued within the past five years.

Largo has been issued five safety citations, three stemming from investigations of jobsite accidents. The most recent, from November 2015, is still open. A spokesperson at Largo declined to comment Wednesday afternoon (May 31).

Johnstone Moyer has been issued five safety citations, however, none stemmed from accidents. A message for comment to Johnstone Moyer was not immediately returned Wednesday.


Tagged categories: Accidents; concrete; Fall protection; OSHA; Safety; Scaffolding

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