Report: Demo Company In Fatal Garage Collapse Disregarded Safety Concerns

Photo: James Rojas / WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The demolition company working on the Government Center parking garage in Boston is facing over a million in federal fines for "exposing workers to hazards" during a fatal partial collapse that happened back in March.

On Tuesday, the United States Department of Labor released a statement that said JDC Demolition CO. Inc. failed to train workers and ignored worker safety inquiries prior to the collapse. Officials say on the day of the incident, the operator of a 11,000-pound excavator fell 80 feet on his first day on the job, after another employee had raised concerns over the unstable floor earlier that morning.

Peter Monsini of Easton was 51-years-old when he died in the incident, an attorney representing him filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against project overseers John Moriarty & Associates, Inc. and HYM Investment Group, LLC in Suffolk Superior Court.

The DOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident, the results of which found JDC Demolition failed to "adequately train its workers on the demolition plan and safety management system to help them recognize and avoid unsafe conditions."

OSHA also concluded that the victim was not briefed on safety measures and was not trained to follow the engineer's demolition plan. In addition, federal investigators say JDC Demolition deviated from the demo plan by imposing unsafe loads with heavy equipment on the compromised upper floors of the garage. In total, OSHA filed eleven violations against JDC Demolition: eight for egregious-willful training and loading, two serious and one "other than serious" violations concerning workplace accident prevention programs, uncovered holes in the floor, and insufficient recordkeeping.

These violations came with a proposed total of $1,191,292 in penalties against JDC Demolition.

“JDC Demolition Company Inc. knew the heavy equipment on the partially demolished floors were over the weight limits and still allowed a worker, unaware of the hazards, to do demolition work. This willful and egregious disregard for safety cost a workers’ life and exposed other employees to potentially fatal hazards," OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton said.

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“JDC Demolition takes the safety and security of their employees extremely seriously and remains deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a team member. JDC Demolition historically has had an excellent safety record. They have fully cooperated with OSHA's investigation and are carefully reviewing the citations, and will contest them as appropriate.” a spokesperson for JDC Demolition told WBZ NewsRadio in a statement.

OSHA also cited John Moriarty and Associates Inc. for $58,008 in proposed fines for failing to ensure the integrity of the garage floors was strong enough to hold heavy machinery, to train employees to avoid overloading, to secure floor holes, and to have a "competent person" inspect the jobsite during demolition.

"The citations do not accurately reflect the safety protocols which John Moriarty & Associates has had in place and followed throughout the Government Center Garage demolition. While the events of March 26th are tragic, our jobsite has consistently exceeded the requirements of both city ordinances and OSHA guidelines. As a result, we will be appealing the citations," a spokesperson for John Moriarty & Associates said.

WBZ's Nichole Davis (@NicholeDWBZ) reports.

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