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Feb. 17, 2016 BOS 2016-018

OSHA: Bryant University structural steel collapse 'needless and preventable'
Contractor did not follow manufacturer's plans or install adequate bracing

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The structural steel collapse at Bryant University in Smithfield that injured six workers on Sept. 1, 2015, could have been prevented, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined.

OSHA found that Barnes Building & Management Group, the Weymouth, Massachusetts, contractor which was erecting the steel framework for an indoor practice facility at the university, did not erect it according to the manufacturer's plan. The contractor also failed to install adequate bracing to ensure the framework's structural stability during erection. These conditions led to the collapse and worker injuries.

"Stability needs to be maintained throughout the steel erection process so that a collapse such as this one does not occur. Barnes Building & Management Group knew this and also knew it needed to follow the manufacturer's erection plan. Instead, the company chose to disregard these important safeguards, resulting in a needless and preventable collapse and injuries," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's Rhode Island area director.

As a result of these hazards, OSHA issued citations to the company on Feb. 8, 2016, for one willful and one serious violation of workplace safety standards. Proposed penalties total $59,290. The citations can be viewed here*.

Barnes Building & Management Group has 15 business days from receipt of its citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Providence office at 401-528- 4669.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075

Release Number: 16-249-BOS

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