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This webpage provides original investigations of collapses and other incidents conducted by the Directorate of Construction, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many of these incidents resulted in one or more worker fatalities, and most of them resulted in multi-million dollar property loss, lawsuits, or settlements. Each investigation was performed at the request of an OSHA field office or State Plan OSHA as part of an enforcement inspection. Due to the nature of investigations of construction collapses and other incidents, these reports may contain professional opinions of the investigating engineer, opinions of incident root cause, and factual data and findings.

Our goal is to help employers, workers, construction engineers, project managers, and regulatory bodies identify problems in construction design, project management, and management of field engineering changes. Hopefully, this information will help reduce future incidents, fatalities, and serious injuries.

Only selected reports are posted at this website. Some of the Photographs, schematics, computations, tables, figures and other non-text items have been removed from the posted versions and are not displayed. The text of each report is otherwise identical with the original document. The original document is a part of the OSHA case file and is maintained in the appropriate Area Office or State Plan. For a complete version of any of the reports, contact the Directorate of Construction at (202) 693-2020.

 

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  • Investigation of the December 19, 2008 Collapse of Atlanta Botanical Garden Canopy Walkway during Construction in Atlanta, GA
    • A spirally shaped pedestrian walkway steel bridge approximately 575' long and 11' to 18' wide under construction collapsed. At the time of the incident, concrete was being poured over the bridge deck. The collapse was massive, involving over seventy percent of the bridge. At the time of the collapse, the entire bridge structural frame was being supported over fifteen temporary shoring towers. One worker killed, 18 injured.

  • Investigation of the June 10, 2009 Mast Climbing Platform Collapse in Austin, Texas
    • A mast climbing platform partially collapsed at a 21-story concrete framed condominium building under construction. The mast and one half of the platform remained intact. Immediately before the incident, the platform descended from the 13th floor and stopped at the 11th floor when one half of the platform suddenly separated from the main frame (motorized unit) and fell to the seventh floor. Three workers were killed.

  • Investigation of the July 18, 2008 Fatal Collapse of a Deep South Crane at Lyondell Basell Houston Refinery in Pasadena, TX
    • The crane was assembled at the site with a 420' boom, 240' mast, 61' spar and 836,000 pounds of main counterweight attached to the spar. An additional 836,000 pounds of auxiliary counterweight was to be attached to its pendants suspended from the mast tip at 105' from the axis of the crane. With this configuration, the crane would have a million pound lifting capacity at a maximum boom radius of 160'. The incident occurred during the installation of the auxiliary counterweight. Four workers were killed and 6 injured.

  • Investigation of the March 15, 2008 Fatal Tower Crane Collapse at 303 East 51st Street, New York, NY
    • A 250 ft. high tower crane in uptown Manhattan, NY collapsed when the polyester slings supporting the suspended collar failed. The collar was positioned around the just "jumped" tower sections and was to be laterally tied to the building under construction to provide lateral support to the crane mast. There were six fatalities and injuries to one person.

  • Investigation of the December 6, 2007 Fatal Parking Garage Collapse at Berkman Plaza 2 in Jacksonville, FL
    • The incident occurred during the construction of a five-story poured-in-place concrete parking garage. The structural design consisted of cast-in-place one way post-tensioned slabs and post-tensioned beams. The columns were also cast in place. At the time of the incident concrete was being poured on the 6th level. There were no re-shores below the third level. One worker was killed, and 21 injured.

  • Investigation of the June 14, 2007, Incident at U.S. Highway 90 across St. Louis Bay, Pass Christian, MS
    • The new bridge under construction on U.S. 90 to connect the towns of Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian was to replace a nearby old bridge destroyed by Katrina. The incident occurred when the steel forms of a bridge column suddenly collapsed and fell into the bay while the form was being filled with wet concrete. Nine workers fell with the column into the bay. Two workers were killed.

  • Investigation of the July 13, 2007, collapse of roof trusses in Township of Franklin, NJ
    • A new medical office building was under construction when the long span wood roof trusses collapsed. The workers erected the trusses a few hours before and were installing temporary and permanent bracings and purlins at the time of the incident. Shortly before the incident, three bundles of 2x6s to be used as purlins and braces were placed over the top chord of the center trusses. Two workers were seriously injured.

  • Investigation of the August 22, 2006, fatal excavation collapse at Red Hook, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
    • The project, 40,000 square foot retail and office complex with two levels of parking, was in the first phase of construction, i.e., excavation and site stabilization, when the incident occurred. A steep excavated slope, more than 40 foot high suddenly collapsed. The collapsed earth deposits buried a nearby excavator and killed the operator inside the cab.

  • Investigation of the June 3, 2006, collapse of Grandview Triangle Bridge in Kansas City, MO
    • The project consisted of demolishing a steel bridge 850 ft. long and 27 ft. wide with twelve spans of varying lengths. The steel girders' depths varied from 48" to 114" and the bridge deck consisted of a 9" thick concrete composite slab. During demolition, two spans collapsed in an unplanned manner, killing one worker and injuring another.

  • Investigation of the March 1, 2006, collapse of stripping platform at San Marco Place, Jacksonville, FL
    • Two construction workers fell twenty stories to the ground and died when the stripping platform they were working on failed. The incident occurred during the construction of a 22-story condominium building. The platform was supported on structural framing resting on the 19th floor concrete slab and on the underside of the 20th floor slab. There were three other employees on the platform at the time of the failure, but they were able to hang onto the railing and the net, and were rescued.

  • Investigation of the August 3, 2005, Collapse of roof trusses at Natatorio de, San Juan, PR
    • The project consisted of construction of a large, one-story concrete and steel structure for an indoor swimming and diving pool with bleachers. The roof trusses were curved and spanned 190 feet and weighed approximately 80,000 pounds. The incident involved the collapse of three long span steel roof trusses and several steel bar joists that fell approximately 50 feet to the ground. Two workers were killed, 2 injured.

  • Investigation of the July 22, 2004, Collapse of a Building 'Tranquility at Hobe Sound', Hobe Sound, FL
    • The project consisted of ten 3-story buildings to construct 82 townhouses. Tunnel forms were used by the construction team for casting concrete on the floors and in the walls. The incident occurred while concrete was being poured on the third floor of one building. A portion of the building collapsed killing two workers and injuring three others. The building was approximately 53 ft. wide and 150 ft. long.

  • Investigation of the March 15, 2008 Fatal Tower Crane Collapse at 303 East 51st Street, New York, NY
    • The 1,000 ft. guyed tower was being modified to add a new HDTV antenna and additional equipment. Installation of horizontal braces and replacing the top 14 ft. with a new 6 ft. tower section were to be undertaken. The crew had positioned a track and a gin pole on one face of the tower as a means to hoist the new antenna. The load line was attached to a block on the tower some thirty feet above the base. As the load line was tensioned, the tower collapsed killing three employees.

  • Investigation of the March 15, 2008 Fatal Tower Crane Collapse at 303 East 51st Street, New York, NY
    • Four employees were placing grout bags and other materials on the cantilever section of the scaffold at the Hathaway Bridge construction site in Panama City, FL. As the grout bags were placed on the cantilever section, the scaffold suddenly failed, causing the employees to fall into the water. One worker was killed, 3 injured.

  • Investigation of the Fatal Parking Garage Collapse at the Tropicana Casino Resort, Atlantic City, NJ
    • A parking garage, part of the Tropicana Casino and Resort expansion project collapsed during construction. The ten-story parking garage was designed as a cast in place concrete structure with precast floor filigree system. At the time of the incident, concrete was being cast on the 8th level. The collapse resulted in the failure of five levels of an exterior bay. Four workers were killed and 20 injured.

  • Investigation of the September 24, 2002, Collapse of the 1965-foot High KDUH-TV Antenna Tower in Hemingford, NE
    • The 1965-foot high -KDUH-TV antenna tower was under contract to replace certain tower diagonals and struts to support a new high-definition TV antenna and other equipment. The tower consisted of 63 sections, each 30-foot high. The crew was replacing existing diagonals with new diagonals when the tower collapsed. Three workers were killed.

  • Report for the Fatal Collapse of Two Scaffold Towers at 215 Park Avenue South in New York, NY
    • Two 142 ft. high scaffold towers collapsed, killing five workers and injuring 10 others. The towers were erected to provide a working platform for the facade renovation of a 1914 era 20-story steel framed masonry building. The face bricks and steel window lintels had already been removed from the 6th to the 14th floors and the cement plastering work was being done. At the time of the incident, two workers were manually hoisting a cement bag to the top of the scaffold tower.

  • Investigation of the August 1, 2002, Collapse of Roadside Billboard During Erection in Snellville, GA
    • The project consisted of fabrication and erection of structural steel framing consisting of round steel pipes to support two billboard signs, on the two opposite faces, each weighing approximately 5,400 pounds. The workers engaged in electrical and bill board installation were finishing the newly erected sign. The billboard structural framing suddenly collapsed killing all three workers and crushing the cars parked below.

  • Investigation of the March 15, 2008 Fatal Tower Crane Collapse at 303 East 51st Street, New York, NY
    • A tilt-up concrete wall 23' high and 20' wide, weighing 40,000 pounds, suddenly collapsed crushing three workers. The structure comprised of steel framing with steel columns, steel joist girders, joists and tilt-up wall panels on the perimeter.

  • Investigation of the June 20, 2001 partial collapse of the Mast Climbing Platform at Cambridge, MA
    • The project consisted of construction of a six-story parking garage. The 55-foot long mast climbing platform consisted of 20 foot fixed platform plus extensions on either side supported in the center by a single mast. Three sections, each 5-foot long were installed on one side, and four sections were installed on the other side. The side, which had four sections collapsed. 3 workers were injured.

  • Investigation of the December 16, 1999 Fatal Collapse of a Reinforcing Steel Cage at the Pier WB-12 of I-895 Bridge in Richmond, Virginia
    • A 44 ft. tall reinforcing steel cage weighing 80 tons fell over and killed one of the two workers working near the top of the cage. The deceased worker was caught between the collapsing reinforcing cage and the concrete footing surface. At the time of the incident, the two workers were installing horizontal ties. The wind at the time of the incident was about 25 mph.

  • Investigation of the July 31, 1997 Collapse of the Parking  Garage Steel Framing at the Portland International Airport, Portland, Oregon
    • Construction was underway at the Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon to add four additional levels of parking to transform the existing two-story precast concrete parking garage into a seven level parking structure. Two partially completed bays of structural steel, most of which were erected the same day, collapsed killing three ironworkers.

  • Investigation of the October 23, 1997 Collapse of the 1889-foot High TV Antenna Tower in Raymond, MS
    • The 1889-foot high antenna tower consisting of 64 sections, each 30 feet high, was being rehabilitated by replacing selected horizontal and diagonal members and guy wires. The workers were 1480' above the base replacing existing diagonal members when the tower collapsed. Three workers were killed.

  • Investigation of the March 15, 2008 Fatal Tower Crane Collapse at 303 East 51st Street, New York, NY
    • A 1462 feet high antenna tower, collapsed while "jumping" a gin pole with a track near the top of the tower to replace an existing antenna. The workers fell to the ground with the falling sections of the tower. Three workers were killed.

  • Structural Collapse at the Olympic Swimming Venue, Atlanta, Georgia. March 18, 1996
    • A steel structure under construction 176 ft. x 312 ft. and 130 ft. high collapsed at the construction site for the Olympic Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The structure, was an addition to the existing pool structure. Just prior to the collapse, the steel erection crew had erected a steel frame and a pair of steel joists spanning 176 ft. from an existing structure to the erected steel frame. The failure occurred within 15 to 30 minutes after the crane was released from the paired joists. The incident did not result in any injuries.

  • Collapse of a Mast Climbing Work Platform (Scaffold) in Miami, FL. March 4, 1995
    • The building project under construction was a 31-story condominium complex. Five employees were applying stucco to the facia walls when the platform of a mast climbing work platform (scaffold) collapsed. Three employees were on a modified cantilever deck section, which was connected to platform extensions attached to the main platform. The cantilever deck failed and as a result, the three employees fell about 75 feet where they were fatally injured. The other two employees working on the platform, were able to grab and hold on to the structure, and sustained only minor injuries.

  • Investigation of the June 6, 1994 Collapse of a Radio Tower in Selma, Alabama
    • A 350 ft. high guyed radio transmission tower collapsed during the final phase of its construction. Three FM antennas were already hoisted and fastened to the top sections of the tower. On the day of the incident, two workers positioned near the top section of the tower were beginning to lower the gin pole from the top section of the tower to the ground. The gin pole suddenly dropped and struck the coaxial cable, followed by the collapse of the tower. Both workers, who were tied to the collapsing tower, fell to the ground, resulted in the death of one worker and serious injuries to the other. The tower structure consisted of 25 pre-fabricated steel sections, each 10 ft. or 20 ft. in height.

  • Investigation of July 20, 1992 Offshore Drilling Accident, Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts
    • A pile top drill unit and a 206 feet long pipe casing, 68-inch diameter suddenly dropped 25 feet into the soft ocean sediment bed as the crane of the jack-up barge was releasing a 80 ton bottom hole assembly onto the platform of the drill unit. The fall of the drill unit caused injuries to three employees working on the platform. One of them was fatal. The steel casing was horizontally held above sea level by the jack-up barge, which was supported on four legs, each 7.5 feet square in cross-section.

  • Investigation of October 17, 1991 Roof Cable Structure Accident at Georgia Dome Construction Site, Atlanta, Georgia
    • A construction worker was killed and two workers were injured when their work platform, about 230 ft. above ground, was struck by a collapsing steel post, during the erection of the roof cable structure at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. The workers were in the process of hoisting the center truss in position to make the final connection of a diagonal cable to the bottom joint of the center truss. The construction workers were using hydraulic pumps to apply loads to the temporary jacking strands in order to make the permanent diagonal cable connection to the center truss.

  • Investigation of November 19, 1990 Excavation Collapse at 14th and H Streets, N.W. Washington, DC
    • The structural steel support system of an open excavation, 150 ft. x 208 ft. by 47 ft. deep collapsed causing a cave-in of several thousand cubic yards of soil. The excavation was done for the construction of a 12-story office building with four levels of underground parking. The collapse caused the internal support system to slide and fall into the open excavation. At the time of the incident, construction had stopped for the day and therefore did not cause any death or injury, though it had significant potential for casualties.

  • Investigation of August 14, 1990 Collapse of Precast Concrete Beams at Airside Building, Midfield Terminal Project, Greater Pittsburgh International Airport, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
    • The building under construction, the Airside Building, consisted of precast concrete beams, columns and precast prestressed hollow core concrete planks. During the erection and placement of hollow core precast planks at the roof level, several precast concrete beams, column, and hollow core planks at the roof and concourse levels collapsed. One construction worker, on the concourse level, died due to the falling debris of the collapsed beams and planks. Another construction worker was seriously injured.

  • Investigation of a Tower Crane Collapse in San Francisco, California November 28, 1989
    • A tower crane collapsed in the center of the financial district in San Francisco, California. Four construction workers engaged in the climbing operation of the crane and one person on the street below the crane were killed. The SN 355 model crane, a climbing, luffing boom tower crane had a maximum reach of 192 feet and a maximum lift capacity of 17,000 pounds with two wire ropes. The height of the crane on the day of collapse was 298 feet and consisted of 15 identical sections added at different stages. On the day of the incident, climbing process was underway to add another tower section.


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