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Cincinnati, Cleveland construction accidents have OSHA attention

A spate of recent construction accidents on major projects in Ohio is drawing the close scrutiny of inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Two of those incidents are at least partially linked, both being related to casino projects backed by the same development team of Rock Gaming and Caesar's Entertainment. A garage partially collapsed in downtown Cleveland last December, and a floor collapsed at the Horseshoe Casino construction site in Cincinnati late last month.

A spokesperson for the development group says, though, that excepting the same management team, there is "absolutely zero connection" between the accidents in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

"These are two different construction management companies, two different contractors, two different sites, two different areas," he told reporters following the floor collapse in Cincinnati.

The latter collapse, which brought down a 60-foot-by-60-foot section of flooring, collapsing it into a V shape, injured more than a dozen workers, with Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun saying that the workers "basically rode the V down." No life-threatening injuries resulted, although there were several reports of broken bones.

Cincinnati-based Messer Construction Co. is the site builder. The company had a clean safety record with OSHA going back to 2006, when it was penalized and paid a small fine for various safety infractions, including a lack of adequate fall protection for its employees.

The casino project received a quick approval on work resumption. OSHA authorities say that safeguards have been fully implemented, but that it will likely take several months before inspectors have completed their final report on the incident.

Source: Fox News, "Workers hurt in collapse at Cincinnati casino site," Jan. 27, 2012

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