Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Incident Caused By Human Error!!!!


The following post from BUSINESS FIRST by John R. Karman III, Staff Writer indicates that the incident at Louisville Arena Construction Site was caused by "HUMAN ERROR!"

My first question about this HUMAN ERROR causing a so called ACCIDENT is: "What Incident that causes injury to a person or property is NOT caused by HUMAN ERROR?"

This assessment DOES NOT MAKE HORSE SENSE. In a round about manner it seems that the three workers that were injured may be the ones that are to blame for the incident. My interpretation of this incident should go back to the engineering company responsible for the re-shoring requirements for elevated concrete slabs until the concrete meets it's full strength to stand unsupported. Also, it would ultimately be the responsibility of the Contractor's management personnel to assure that these requirements are met before the removal of adequate shoring, not the laborers on the job.

Investigation points to human error, blames subcontractor for accident at arena site

Business First of Louisville - by John R. Karman III Staff Writer

An accident last month on the construction site of Louisville’s coming downtown arena is being blamed on “human error” by workers associated with Indianapolis-based subcontractor F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. Inc.

A section of concrete flooring on the arena’s main concourse collapsed in the April 27 incident, injuring three workers.

Two of the three workers were treated for minor injuries and returned to work the next day, according to officials with Minneapolis-based M.A. Mortenson Co., the construction manager for the arena project. The other worker suffered a puncture wound to his arm and has not yet returned.

Mortenson released findings from its investigation of the accident during this morning’s regular monthly meeting of the Louisville Arena Authority Inc. at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The company hired Suffern, N.Y.-based Geiger Engineers to conduct the investigation. It determined that the collapse occurred because Wilhelm failed to install more than 20 shoring posts to support the concrete section, which is located on the northernmost edge of the project site, near River Road. Other posts were incorrectly installed.

Wilhelm employees on site also failed to detect the error, according to the investigation.

Accident ‘shouldn’t have happened’

John Wood, a Mortenson principal and senior vice president, called the incident “very serious” and “unacceptable.”

It resulted in the first lost-time accident for Mortenson since 2003.

“It could have been prevented,” Wood said. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

Officials with Wilhelm did not attend today’s arena authority meeting.

Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations has been hired to represent the firm in its dealings with the media.

Dan Hartlage, a principal with the company, said Wilhelm officials don’t usually attend the meetings and were not asked to do so this month.

Hartlage said he was unsure if anyone was fired over last month’s incident.

Wilhelm released a statement later in the day, which said that the “safety of our people is the first priority” for any of the company’s projects.

“We take with the utmost seriousness any issue which may involve safety or quality on our projects. … No accident or injury is acceptable on a Wilhelm project, and Wilhelm deeply regrets that this incident occurred,” the statement said.

Authority review found no unsafe conditions

Separate investigations into the accident have been conducted by the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration and by the arena authority.

The OSHA report is expected by the end of the month.

Findings from the arena authority’s investigation were released at today’s meeting. The review was prompted by a WHAS-TV report that included a Wilhelm employee’s assertions that safety was being comprised and complaints ignored at the arena site, according to arena authority chairman Jim Host.

The $238 million, 22,000-seat arena is being built at Second and Main streets. Its primary tenants will be the University of Louisville’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The arena authority asked attorneys with its legal counsel, Frost Brown Todd LLC, to look into the allegations, Host said.

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