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OSHA cites Cleveland-area subcontractor in construction accident

Although a Cleveland-area cement contractor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cannot agree on the cause of a casino deck collapse last December, the two parties are in agreement that the now-finished project is safe.

Cleveland Cement Contractors Inc., a Brooklyn Heights company, was in the process of building a parking garage late last year for the recently opened Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland when the second floor of the structure collapsed. Luckily, no one was hurt in the construction accident.

Workplace injury experts say that the result could have been tragically different. An OSHA spokesperson, Scott Adams, said recently that the company improperly built the framework for the wet concrete, which was the direct cause of the collapse. Adams noted specifically that Cleveland Cement failed to take necessary precautions while preparing to pour the concrete. The company was fined $38,000 by OSHA for having insufficient shoring to support the weight of the concrete, which was steel-enforced.

The company's president, Michael Simonetti, says that is not true and that Cleveland Cement wants to discuss the matter further with OSHA officials.

"We were unable to identify the cause of the collapse and neither was OSHA," said Simonetti, adding that the collapse was unforeseeable and could have resulted from an as-yet unknown equipment failure.

The garage is now complete and has received a vote of confidence from safety inspectors.

Cleveland Cement has received two other safety-related citations from OSHA over the past five years.

Source: Plain Dealer, "Cleveland Cement Contractors cited for December collapse of parking garage at Cleveland casino," Michael Sangiacomo, May 9, 2012

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