A Pearl River-based company faces nearly $80K in penalties after the death of a construction site’s general contractor due to a concrete floor collapse. According to OSHA, 54-year-old Gary Berthelot died last September rebuilding a restaurant in Mississippi damaged in Hurricane Isaac. As workers poured concrete above, Berthelot and three other workers employed by Great Southern Building Systems (doing business as Bayou Steel Fabricators Inc.) were placing additional supports beneath the concrete form when it collapsed. Falling concrete and other debris struck and trapped the father of four, who had 30 years of construction experience. OSHA issued one willful citation for exposing workers to being struck-by material, because the concrete formwork was not built to handle the load on it. The company also received serious citations for not installing formwork to support the concrete floor as it was poured and not having engineering plans for the concrete floor (which was originally going to be wood) onsite.
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