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Two Workers Injured in Philadelphia Building Demolition

Tina Robinson2 years ago

Two workers as part of a wrecking crew were injured Tuesday morning while demolishing a partially collapsed building in Philadelphia. The building, located in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood, was identified as one of the city’s most imminently dangerous buildings, according to NBC Philadelphia.

More about the Demolition Accident

Initial reports say at around 10 a.m. on Tuesday two workers from the Gama Wrecking Crew were in the process of tearing down a row house when they were struck by falling debris from an adjacent property. City records show the building had partially collapsed a few weeks prior and was being demolished as part of a city-wide effort to eradicate 500 of the most imminently dangerous buildings in Philadelphia.

One worker was struck on the head; the other worker was hit in the neck. Both men are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries as a local hospital. A city official said both workers were wearing helmets and safety gear when the accident happened.

Concerns were raised after the accident as to why the contractor performing the demolition had not been required to submit an engineering survey before work commenced. The contractor was one of Philadelphia’s prequalified contractors and thus not required to do so. Some questioned why this is allowed, citing engineering surveys as one of the most important steps to avoiding injuries.

Workplace Injury Statistics

The following statistics for 2012 are provided by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

  • 15% of all fatal work injuries involved contractors.
  • There were a total of 4,175 worker fatalities; 19.2% of those deaths were construction workers.
  • The top four causes of construction fatalities were falls (34.6%), struck by object (0.9%), electrocutions (8.1%), and caught-in/between (0.1%).
  • OSHA estimates that eliminating the “fatal four” would save approximately 437 lives each year. 


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