Feds Fine Company Behind November’s Brighton Beach Building Collapse

A photo from the November 8 Brighton Beach building collapse.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration slapped SP&K Construction with more than $77,000 in fines for skirting regulations in building a Brighton Beach structure, which collapsed in November killing one and injuring four others.

The agency served the Midwood-based company with 11 safety violations yesterday, saying the company knowingly failed to ensure the building was stable before sending workers in to pour concrete.

The New York Times reports:

The authorities said that the building’s structural frame was not properly braced and that the exterior walls were not aligned correctly, among other problems. The agency also said the scaffolding on the building was not braced sufficiently.

And from the Daily News:

OSHA officials found that besides sending hardhats to work on a building they knew was unstable, SP&K failed to give employees working as high as five floors up fall protection training and did not properly brace the scaffolding on the project.

On November 8, 2011, at around 2:30 p.m., the structure of the 2929 Brighton 5th Street building buckled under the weight from concrete poured on the top floors. As the building tumbled down, five workers were trapped and injured, sparking an intense rescue operation.

Firefighters pulled the workers from the rubble within just over an hour. All five were injured, three seriously so, and one critical. The worker in critical condition died hours later from cardiac arrest.

The city stayed on scene for more than 24 hours, securing the scene and stabilizing what remained of the building.

An investigation later revealed that the building had been poorly stabilized, and the contractors made the serious error of pouring concrete beginning from the top of the building – which put further stress on it’s already weak structure.

The New York Daily News found that the architects behind the project – Douglas Pulaski and Henry Radusky of Bricolage Architecture and Design – had previously been penalized for flouting Department of Building regulations and abusing self-certification privileges.


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