Posted by: nedpelger | September 11, 2008

Wood Frame Live-Work Building Collapses in VA

A Construction Worker was killed as the roof trusses crashed to the concrete slab on a 2 story wood frame building being constructed near Richmond, VA. The Live-Work project had retail space proposed for the lower floor with residential space above.   An article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch includes the photo below.

There is also a slide show of photos that show much more detail of the collapse.

It appears the roof trusses stayed largely intact as they dropped through the collapsed first floor structure.

Why should a Construction Supervisor care about some building falling down in VA? A few reasons come to mind.

  1. We work in a dangerous business. We need to keep that in mind every single day on the jobsite.
  2. We need to learn how structures work (and fail) and always be looking for potential problems.
  3. We must see ourselves as the last line of defense for jobsite safety, the one person who is on the job and looking at everything with experience and concern.

I know the contract might not require you to do that. Many Construction Supervisors see safety as a game to play with OSHA. That’s the wrong attitude (and I understand OSHA often has the wrong attitude as well). Seeing safety involves protecting your team from harm. You want to be the kind of person who does that, don’t you?

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