The collapse of a building onto a Pennsylvania Salvation Army thrift store on June 5 has led to the death of two Salvation Army employees. A neighboring four-floor Philadelphia building on Market Street was scheduled for demolition, but a construction accident caused it to collapse sideways and trap workers and others inside of the thrift shop next door when something went wrong. The employees killed in the building collapse were a 68-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman who had just begun working at the store. Four others also died in the collapse.
Investigations are ongoing into what went wrong during the scheduled demolition. An investigation into the company that was in charge of the demolition found that it had two other projects that were in violation of security standards. One city councilman believes that a stricter inspection process needs to be developed for demolition companies and that this may be a problem that is widespread.
OSHA reported that the demolition company had received a prior complaint regarding workplace safety. Witnesses who were on the scene of the demolition have stated that they noticed certain security violations that might come under the jurisdiction of OSHA safety regulations.
If the company is found to have been in violation of OSHA regulations, they may also be found negligent in the case of the two deaths in the Salvation Army store. Due to the fact that both employees were working during the event, the event is also a workplace accident from the perspective of the Salvation Army. A workplace accident attorney may be necessary to make sure that both families are fully compensated for the damages and the loss of life. Workers’ compensation from the Salvation Army may cover the funeral and additional costs, but depending on the circumstances, the families may want to pursue additional compensation from the demolition company that may have been in violation of OSHA standards.
Source: WPXI, “2 Salvation Army workers die in Pa. bldg collapse”, June 06, 2013