Falling steel girders apparently injured three construction workers at the former GM site in Linden, New Jersey. Six struts intended to support the deck of the warehouse collapsed. The struts were at the top of a story-story building currently under construction.
The three construction workers were taken to University Hospital in Newark. One of the men sustained a serious head injury, but it was not thought to be life-threatening, according to police.
The incident occurred early in the morning of March 26. By mid-morning, an I-beam girder and several decking struts were still lying on top of construction vehicles and equipment, including a high-reach forklift and a boom lift. Other vehicles are buried under debris that fell when the structure collapsed. Work was immediately stopped pending an investigation of the collapse. Both the city and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were notified.
One report suggested that high winds were responsible for the falling debris, beams and struts.
The property is owned by Duke Realty, which is building a 500,000 square foot warehouse. The project has been underway for about two months. The city has been trying the redevelop the site for many years, but lawsuits from nearby businesses have delayed progress.
Given the increased pace of construction in New York and New Jersey as the economy continues to improve, accidents such as this one may occur more frequently. Owners and contractors must take care to protect their workers from injuries and accidents such as this one.
Source: NJ.com, “3 construction workers injured at former GM plant in Linden,” Mar. 26, 2014.