An administrative law judge ruled on April 5 that Southern Pan Services, Lithonia, Ga., formwork subcontractor, willfully broke federal safety rules while working on a 413-car parking garage in Jacksonville, Fla., which collapsed during a concrete pour in December 2007, killing a construction worker. Administrative Law Judge Ken S. Welsch determined Southern Pan removed building supports but neglected to follow engineers’ plans to leave the supports in place during construction. Welsch set the fine at $40,000, although federal safety officials had sought a fine of $132,000. An attorney for Southern Pan did not comment.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.