Thursday, June 17, 2004

Improper bracing cited by agency in church collapse

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WASHINGTON TWP. - Proper bracing wasn't used at a church construction site when the roof collapsed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found.

That was among the three "serious" violations for which OSHA cited E.W. Construction of Harveysburg after investigation of a May 21 collapse that injured four construction workers who were connecting roof trussses. OSHA fined the company $4,500.

OSHA found that E.W. Construction did not designate a "competent person" for regular inspections and employees were not properly trained. The violations were finalized June 9 and made public Wednesday.

"This is not the first time we've investigated a truss collapse and the common denominator seems to be a lack of bracing," said Dennis Slessman, OSHA's assistant area director. He did not have the specifics on previous incidents, but said E.W. Construction had not been involved.

A man who identified himself as the company's owner but refused to give his name also declined to comment Wednesday. E.W. officials are to meet with OSHA's area director later this month.

E.W. Construction is a subcontractor working on the site for the Fellowship of Praise Church of God at U.S. 22/Ohio 3 and Strout Road. The collapse, which caused nearly $60,000damage, has been mostly cleaned up, according to pastor the Rev. Matt Morgan. Morgan hopes the congregation can still move in by Oct. 19.


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