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Demolition-site deaths prompt OSHA to update safety resources

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Washington – In response to recent worker deaths at demolition sites, OSHA has updated its webpage and safety resources addressing common hazards in the construction demolition industry.

The agency on July 10 announced the re-launched webpage, which includes hazard assessments, injury and illness mitigation measures, and information on applicable OSHA standards. The page also invites stakeholders to email OSHA at oshademolition@dol.gov about information on best practices or safer work methods pertaining to demolition safety.

Recent demolition deaths could have been prevented, OSHA said, including a June 20 incident in which a New Jersey worker was killed when a building wall collapsed on him, and an incident in Chicago involving a worker who was struck and killed by falling concrete during a shopping mall renovation.

Failure to conduct an engineering survey, which includes determining whether an unplanned collapse of the building or adjacent structures would injure nearby workers, was the most commonly cited construction demolition standard from 2009 to 2013, according to OSHA.