Construction Incidents Investigation Engineering Reports
Construction Incidents Investigation Engineering Reports
July 2019: Investigation of March 15, 2018 Pedestrian Bridge Collapse at Florida International University, Miami, FL
- A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed and fell over the SW 8th Street near SW 109th Avenue in Miami, Florida. The bridge was being constructed to connect the FIU campus with the City of Sweetwater. The bridge, at this stage of construction, consisted of a single concrete truss spanning approximately 174 feet and weighed approximately 930 tons. The concrete bridge was cast at a nearby off-site location and then transported to its final location. At the time of the collapse, motorists were waiting underneath the bridge for the traffic light. One employee and five motorists were fatally injured, and another employee permanently disabled.
October 2018: Investigation of the April 19, 2018, Communication Tower Collapse in Fordland, Missouri.
- The project involved the reinforcement of the KOZK 1,891-foot-tall guyed communication tower just north of Fordland, Missouri. The tower required structural modifications to support the transmission line replacement. However, the suggested diagonal replacement procedure was flawed in that it compromised the effectiveness of the integrated surrounding braces and the load bearing capacity of the tower legs. At the time of the collapse, contractor was performing structural modifications to the tower.
September 2018: Investigation of the Failures of Three Hammerhead Cranes on September 10, 2017, in Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the Wake of Hurricane Irma.
- Three hammerhead tower cranes collapsed within hours of each other; two in Miami and one in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., during heavy winds in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The three cranes were the same model SK-315. There was another SK 315 model crane that did not collapse which was at a much lower height and was shielded by tall structures. There were Terex manufactured cranes other than SK 315 in the area which did not fail. The crane jibs detached from their turntables due to turbulent wind and the cranes failed.
- To repair a damaged or misaligned buried drainage pipe, the employees were hand-digging a trench besides a newly installed concrete barrier, more than 130 feet long. The concrete barrier collapsed into the trench while the employees were digging the trench. Two employees in the trench were killed.
February 2018: Investigation of the September 27, 2017, Gin Pole Collapse at an Antenna Tower in Miami Gardens, Florida.
- Three employees were engaged in installing a new antenna for a local TV station at the top of a 951-foot tall antenna tower constructed in 2009. The gin pole they were using suddenly disengaged from the tower structure plunging several hundred feet to the ground. The employees were tied to the gin pole and fell with it and were killed. The cause of the disengagement was the failure of attachment between the gin pole and the tower structure.
April 2017: Investigation of the October 19, 2016, Collapse of Two Scaffold Platforms during Climbing in Miami, Florida.
- Two scaffolds, known as Doka Xclimb 60 loading platforms, collapsed and several pieces of debris from the platform fell to the ground from the 48th floor of a high-rise residential building under construction in downtown Miami. The contractor was hydraulically climbing two scaffolds together, from the 47th floor to 48th floor and both scaffolds failed.
February 2017: Investigation of the September 1, 2016, Formwork Table Collapse in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- A formwork table being installed for pouring concrete for construction of a multistory residential building failed and collapsed. The crews were installing the formwork tables on the 15th level. One of the employees fell to the ground along with the failed formwork table and was killed.
January 2017: Investigation of the July 19, 2016 Crane Collapse during Pile Driving for New Tappan Zee Bridge over Hudson River, Rockland County, NY.
- A Manitowoc MLC300 crawler crane engaged in driving piles with a vibratory hammer for the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge collapsed and fell over the existing Tappan Zee Bridge. The incident occurred on the Rockland County side. The 256 foot-long boom of the crane fell over the existing bridge (north and southbound lanes of Interstate I-87/I-287).
August 2016: April 15, 2016 Double Tee Collapse at the Miami-Dade College West Campus Parking Garage, Doral, FL.
- Miami-Dade College (MDC) decided to demolish the parking garage involved in 2012 incident and to build a new structure. During the construction of the replacement garage, two precast double tee beams collapsed on the fourth level of the new parking garage.
- A Liebherr crawler crane, approximately 570 ft. high, collapsed in lower Manhattan, killing one motorist. The crane operator was attempting to lay down the crane in high wind when the crane suddenly collapsed and overturned. The crane had a luffing jib, 371 ft. long and a 194 ft. long boom. There was no load on either the boom or the jib hooks.
February 2016: Investigation of the September 9, 2015 Collapse of Aircraft Hangar No. 14 at Newark International Airport, Newark, NJ
- At Newark Liberty International Airport, aircraft hangar no. 14, undergoing demolition, unexpectedly collapsed. The building was largely used for storage and no airplanes were parked inside the hangar. The contractor made numerous cuts on columns contrary to the consultant’s instructions and these additional cuts compromised the stability of the structure.
February 2016: September 1, 2015 Collapse of a Steel Building during Erection at Bryant University, Smithfield, RI
- An athletic indoor practice facility, a pre-engineered metal frame building, under construction collapsed injuring six workers. The proposed building was 430 ft. x 192 ft. with a bay length of 25 feet. Approximately 9 bays were already erected to varying degrees of completion and at the time of the incident, the crew was in the process of erecting and plumbing the frames.
August 2015: Investigation of the March 23, 2015 Mast Climbing Scaffold Collapse during Dismantling at Raleigh, NC
- A 12-story steel framed building with concrete floor slabs was under construction and the exterior of the building was to be clad with glass curtain walls. The construction was almost complete on March 23, 2015 when during the disassembly, one of the mast climbing work platforms collapsed. The mast supporting the platform partially collapsed. At the time of the incident, there were four employees on the platform perched near the 9th floor. All four fell to the ground with the falling mast and platform. Three were killed and the fourth fell on the roof of a portable toilet, and suffered severe injuries.
May 2015: Investigation of the January 19, 2015 Collapse of Bridge onto Southbound Interstate I-75 During Demolition in Cincinnati, OH
- A construction incident occurred on Monday, January 19, 2015 near downtown Cincinnati at approximately 10:30 p.m. when the center and east spans of a ramp bridge being demolished suddenly fell 15-20 feet onto southbound interstate I-75 south freeway, killing a foreman and injuring the excavator operator. At the time of the incident, concrete slab was being removed from the deck of the ramp as a part of the demolition of the Hopple Street Ramp Bridge. The demolition work began a day earlier but had to be stopped due to concerns about some steel girders lifting off their bearings. Work resumed after the remedial measures recommended by the engineers were carried out. Those measures proved inadequate, and the incident occurred.
April 2015: Investigation of the November 13 and 14, 2014 Collapses of Two Pedestrian Bridges under Construction at Wake Technical Community College Campus, Raleigh, NC
- On November 13, 2014 at approximately 10:30 a.m., a pedestrian bridge under construction at the Wake Technical Community College at the Northern Wake Campus, Raleigh, North Carolina, suddenly collapsed killing a worker. Four employees were injured. At the time of the collapse, concrete was being poured on the metal deck to provide the walking surface. A few hours later, another similar bridge, also under construction, within a block of the first incident, collapsed at approximately 12:30 a.m. in the middle of the following night. No one was injured in the second incident. No construction activities were going on during the second incident. Both bridges were part of the expansion of the Northern Wake campus which was well underway.
March 2015: Investigation of the December 30, 2014 incident at Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, Claycomo, MO
- A fatal incident occurred on December 30, 2014 at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant (KCAP) in Claycomo, MO. The incident happened when the welds on a bracket holding a safety pin supporting the weight of a carriage suddenly failed, causing the carriage to slip off the pin and fall, pinning an employee who was working below the carriage.
October 2014: Investigation of the May 4, 2014 incident at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey performance in Providence, RI
- During the "Hair Hang Act" at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show in Providence, RI, eight performers were suspended from their hair with their bodies free to dance in a choreographed acrobatic manner. Suddenly, during the act, the metal apparatus supporting the performers plummeted to the floor. Two of the performers sustained critical injuries. In total, there were injuries to nine employees. This incident occurred because the carabiner used to support the performers failed due to being improperly loaded.
August 2014: Investigation of the March 25, 2014 Failure of Gin Pole Rigging, and Collapse of Cellular Towers at Blaine, KS
- On March 25, 2014, two communication towers owned by Union Pacific Railroad (Railroad) collapsed in Blaine, KS, killing two workers. The project consisted of dismantling an older communication tower with all its appurtenances (e.g., antennas, dishes, coaxial cables, etc.). The older tower was located next to a recently constructed tower. At the time of the incident, a gin pole was being raised on the older tower to lower a 10 ft. diameter dish when the rigging of the gin pole suddenly failed causing the 60 ft. tall gin pole to plummet down, resulting in the collapse of both the towers. One employee was situated approximately 20 ft. below the top on the older 250 ft. high tower and was engaged in disconnecting the 10 ft. diameter dish and another employee was on the same tower approximately 80 ft. from the top. One worker died at the scene and the other was pronounced dead at the hospital. There were two additional employees at the site who were not injured.
July 2014: Investigation of the February 1, 2014 Collapse of a Telecommunication Tower at the Summit Park Community in Clarksburg, WV
- On February 1, 2014, at approximately 11:37 a.m., a 340 ft.-high guyed telecommunication tower (cell tower), suddenly collapsed during upgrading/construction activities. Four employees were working on the tower removing its diagonals. In the process, no temporary supports were installed. As a result of the tower's collapse, two employees were killed and two others were badly injured. The cell tower fell onto the guy wires of an adjacent smaller cell tower and caused it to collapse, killing a firefighter while he was rescuing the injured employees on the ground. The collapse of the smaller tower is not covered in this investigation.
July 2014: Structural Investigation of the January 20, 2014 Plant Collapse at International Nutrition Facility in Omaha, NE
- A massive collapse occurred at a plant producing nutritional supplements for animal feed. There were nine bins each 8 ft. x 8 ft. x 27 ft. high, framed over the roof of the building. During filling of one of the bins with lime stone, the supporting structure collapsed and the entire plant had to be shut down. The facility was originally constructed around 1972. Two employees were killed and thirteen others were injured.
Only selected reports are posted on this webpage. For assistance with any of the reports, figures or illustrations, please contact the Directorate of Construction at (202) 693-2020.
- OSHA finds that structural engineers must specify the order and manner of replacing existing diagonals and strut members of cellular towers. Onsite judgement by workers engaged in retrofit of towers has often proven to be disastrous. (October 2018)
- OSHA finds that the contractors and engineers should consider turbulent winds causing uplift and vortex in areas exposed to tropical storms and hurricane. OSHA recommends analysis based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations. (September 2018)
- OSHA finds that the contractor not laying the boom and jib in the face of impending wind in accord with the crane manufacturer's instruction caused the collapse of the crane. (July 2016)
- OSHA finds that contractors must exhibit abundance of caution and supervision during dismantling of mast climbing platforms, not to overload the platforms causing failure of the mast. (August 2015)
- U.S. Department of Labor Announces Initiative to Increase Awareness Of Trenching and Excavation Hazards and Solutions, OSHA News Release (November 28, 2018)
- U.S. Department of Labor Cites Five Contractors for Safety Violations Following Florida Pedestrian Bridge Collapse, OSHA News Release (September 18, 2018)
- U.S. Department of Labor Cites Pennsylvania Crane Manufacturer for Exposing Employees to Safety Hazards after Fatal Crane Collapse, DOL News Release (August 6, 2018)
- U.S. Department of Labor Cites Communication Tower Contractor Following Three Fatalities at Miami Work Site, OSHA News Release (March 27, 2018)
- OSHA finds that overloading led to Providence, Rhode Island, circus fall Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus cited for serious safety violation. OSHA Regional News Release, (November 4, 2014).
- US Labor Department and Federal Communications Commission announce working group to prevent fatalities in telecommunications industry. OSHA News Release, (October 14, 2014).
- Structural Collapses During Construction - Lessons Learned, (1990-2008) (PDF). STRUCTURE magazine. OSHA investigated 96 structural collapses during construction involving fatalities and injuries from 1990 to 2008. Construction errors contributed to 80% of the structural collapses while the remaining 20% of the incidents are attributed to structural design flaws. (December 2010).