OSHA says lack of bolts in steel caused casino collapse


Federal safety officials said Monday the cause of January’s construction accident at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati was too few bolts connecting horizontal steel support beams with vertical steel columns.

That conclusion came in a report from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) that cited six firms for alleged violations in the case and proposed fines of $108,220.

Thirteen employees of Jostin Concrete Construction were injured Jan. 27 when the floor on which they were pouring concrete collapsed, sending them 25 feet to the ground in a slurry of wet concrete.

OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen said the six firms were cited because they were directly involved in the erection of the steel and the pouring of the concrete. 

The companies and the fines proposed by OSHA are:

     * Messer Construction – $25,200

     * J&B Steel Erectors -- $19,600

     * Pendleton Construction Group, LLC -- $16,800

     * Triversity Construction Company, LLC -- $16,800

      * D.A.G. Construction Co., Inc. -- $15,120

     * Jostin Concrete Construction -- $14,700

Allen said Messer, J&B, Pendleton, Triversity and D.A.G. were cited for violations that included the following:

     1. Inappropriate installation of steel with not enough bolts connecting columns  and beams to support the  weight of the concrete being poured.

     2. Failure to provide adequate accident prevention and safety programs.

     3. Failure to provide adequate safety inspections.

     4. Failure to determine if work surfaces were strong enough and safe for employees to stand on to pour concrete.

Jostin’s citations only included items two, three and four, since its personnel were not involved in assembling the building’s steel frame.

Messer is the construction manager for the $400 million project, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013.

President/CEO Tom Keckeis issued a statement on behalf of Messer and the Pendleton Construction Group, which said the firms are fully cooperating with OSHA, but disagree with some of the findings.

“We are completing every project safely and in accordance with OSHA requirements, AISC guidelines and our structural engineer’s specifications,” Keckeis wrote.  “That being said, there are elements of the citation with which we respectfully disagree and Messer and our partners will be requesting an informal meeting with OSHA’s area director to address our concerns.”

He didn’t provide specifics about the concerns.

Keckeis called the incident an “anomaly” for a firm with an impeccable safety record.  He pointed to more than 100 previous OSHA inspections in the past seven years where there were no violations.

“In fact, we believe our safety record and the prompt and thorough corrective action taken on-site post-incident played an integral role in allowing us to return to work promptly,” he said.  “We are confident that the heightened levels of inspection protocols and procedures in place post-incident will provide additional safeguards to the jobsites as construction continues and after the building is occupied.”   

A call seeking comment from J&B Steel Erectors was not returned.    

The companies have 15 days to decide whether to file an appeal.

To view the citations for each company, click on the following links below:

- Dag Construction
- J & B Steel Erectors
- Jostin Construction
- Messer Construction
- Pendleton Construction Group
- Triversity Construction Company

NOTE to mobile and tablet users: Go to a browser version of WCPO.com to be able to click on the links above.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates on this story.

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