Almost 18 months ago, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed, killing 6 people and injuring another 8. While many investigations have closed, including OSHA’s scathing report, families of victims and survivors have been awaiting the results of civil lawsuits filed against the companies in charge of the projects.
According to the Miami Herald, almost all of the major players involved in the design and construction of the bridge have agreed to settle with the victims and their families, except for one.
Magnum Construction Management (MCM), formerly known as Munilla Construction Management, settled with the victims and their insurers for $42 million in April, according to the Herald. MCM has already filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Additional funds, on top of MCM’s contribution, will be added to the pool of money to be distributed to the victims after the settlements from the other companies are formalized, but the wait could be a lot longer than the plaintiffs hope, if one of the companies does not agree to the settlement.
The Herald has reported that the lone holdout is Louis Berger, a 3rd-party consultant hired to double check the designs and calculations. Because of MCMs bankruptcy proceedings, all companies involved in the suit have to agree to settle before the funds can be distributed. An attorney for one of the families worries that Berger refusing to cooperate could tie the money up for an additional year and a half, he told the Herald.
Without a pre-trial settlement, the case will have to go to court. In a trial, the official findings of OSHA and the ongoing NTSB investigation would likely play a major role in the court’s decision. The next hearing for all parties involved will be August 20.
Full story: All parties OK settlement of legal fight over FIU bridge tragedy — with one holdout | Miami Herald
If you have a safety meeting or perform an inspection and you can’t find any documentation of it, did it ever really happen? Well, sure it did, but it definitely helps to keep proper records for things as important as safety for reference later on or to prove to a government agency like OSHA that your company is being proactive. One way to keep proper records is to use an app, and Safesite has just made that easier as they now offer a free version of their inspection platform.
At the National Safety Council Congress & Expo on September 10, 2019, OSHA’s deputy director of Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced their preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety violations for their fiscal year 2019.
A few technology companies have been trying to wedge augmented reality into construction for a few years now, boasting benefits of overlaying BIM models onto the real life site you’re working on, as well as interactive collaboration with remote workers. One of those companies that we thought was going to make a pretty big impact is apparently closing its doors in the near future.
The most popular method of demolition these days is by implosion, but not always welcome in certain areas or situations. The use of explosives can greatly damage neighboring buildings and spread hazardous materials over a large radius, which is why a cooling tower at the Mülheim-Kärlich power plant in Germany had to be slowly dismantled from the top.
Late last year, crane manufacturer, Sarens, announced that their brand new – and enormous – crane, was ready to be sent off to it’s first job. After several months of prep, the Sarens SGC-250 has finally made it onto its intended jobsite and is ready to lift.
For the past few years, tool manufacturers have been making cordless tools possible that no one thought could be done. We now have battery powered table saws, 12” miter saws, even battery powered pipe threaders. But one thing that no one has done yet, until now, is a battery powered worm drive circular saw.
It’s no secret that the construction workforce is dominated by men, but women are slowly increasing their numbers in recent years as gender barriers continue to be knocked down. With construction jobs expected to continue to grow over the next few years, women will play a significant role in filling job openings.
Construction employers are legally responsible for following and enforcing safety regulations on their jobsites. If caught not abiding by these rules and failing to keep workers safe, an OSHA violation and fine can follow. Recently, however, several contractors are also facing criminal charges following employee deaths on their jobsites.
After causing devastation in the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian worked its way up the U.S. East Coast last week and eventually made its way up to Nova Scotia, Canada as a Category 2 storm. The storm left more than 369,000 without power in the Canadian Region, according to CBC, but also caused a tower crane to buckle and collapse in the city of Halifax.
A little over 3 years ago, reports surfaced that San Francisco’s luxury high rise, the Millennium Tower, has been consistently sinking and tilting since it was completed in 2009. Lawsuits have been underway for years involving dozens of lawyers from many different parties, but an expert panel has just approved a $100 million plan to keep the building from sinking and tilting any further.