Two construction workers were treated for serious burns after an electrical explosion caused by their jackhammer hitting a live 11,000V electrical wire while prepping a job site to lay bricks. Though the incident happened in Millbank, London back in 2013, video has just recently surfaced and the construction companies involved have been hit with large fines for exposing their workers to safety risks.
The two men involved, one 22 years old and one 63 at the time, are seen in the video striking an electrical line and being engulfed in flames for a short period of time. It’s pretty graphic, so those with weak stomachs should not watch. The younger worker spent almost a month in the hospital after suffering severe burns on his arms, legs, hands, and face, according to the Health and Safety Executive, the British equivalent to America's OSHA. The older man, was also treated for serious neck and face burns and can no longer work with drills and machines, after the traumatic stress.
Both the general contractor and sub-contractor were fined after the safety investigation was completed. The General Contractor was fined roughly $67,000 USD ($45,000 British Pounds), for failing to assess the risk on the job site, failing to notify the workers that the wire was live, and failing to manage the site and the contractor. The sub-contractor, the employer of the two workers, was also fined the same amount for failing to provide adequate supervision during the work, failing to adequately assess the risk of the job site, and failing to measure the competency of the workers before assigning them the task.
FULL STORY: Electrical explosion leaves worker scarred for life | Health and Safety Executive
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.
While placing concrete on the second floor of a future seven-story mixed use building in Oakland, California, the concrete forms suddenly gave way, sending around 20 workers 10 to 15 feet below with the wet concrete. News reports explain the job site went into a panic, understandably so, and co-workers rushed to the scene to help.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.