The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration on Dec. 19 cited two Texas contractors with eight serious violations and proposed $46,800 in fines, following the June collapse of a structure in an $80-million equestrian center under construction at Texas A&M University that injured four workers. The penalties come two weeks after a separate site accident on the College Station campus killed a 28-year-old worker employed by another contractor.
OSHA cited project subcontractor Ramco Erectors Inc., Houston, with seven violations for flaws in the erection process and failure to follow safety procedures. General contractor Gamma Construction received one citation for failing to ensure structural stability. An OSHA spokeswoman was not able to confirm by press time whether the firms would accept or contest the penalties. The workers have recovered from their injuries, says a published report in College Station.
Separately, the family of Angel Garcia, the worker killed in a Dec. 3 fall at the school's $450-million Kyle Field stadium expansion and renovation project, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in a state court against six project contractors, a spokesman for the family's Houston-based attorney, The Gibson Law Firm, told ENR. In the Dec. 23 suit, the family seeks $1 million in damages and a jury trial. Garcia was assisting in demolition of a spiral pedestrian ramp. The upgrade, to be completed in 2015, is among numerous projects under way at the university.
Among the firms named in the suit are Garcia's employer, Lindamood Demolition, and project general contractors Manhattan Construction and Vaughan Construction. The firms have 20 days to respond, says the law firm. An OSHA final report on the accident is not expected until March or April. "Our facilities, planning and construction department is satisfied that our policies and procedures regarding safety are sound," Steven B. Moore, a Texas A&M vice chancellor, told ENR. "They review them periodically to ensure we are consistent with market trends."