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Casino collapses in Ohio raise workplace safety concerns

Casino developer Rock Gaming has had two fairly similar construction catastrophes in Ohio this winter. In both Cleveland and Cincinnati, upper-story floors collapsed as they were being built. Both incidents occurred during the concrete-pouring phase of construction last month.

While no one was hurt in the Cleveland collapse, the Cincinnati incident injured at least 13 people--at least one person seriously. Workplace accidents like these highlight the need for employers to take responsibility for worker safety seriously.

Although Rock Gaming was developing both of these sites, they are each being built by different contractors, according to news reports.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating both sites. According to a news report, all of the construction firms involved have good safety records.

Though the two incidents involved different personnel and different contractors, the proximity in timing, similar circumstances, and severity of the accidents of course raise a red flag.

The construction firms that were managing the Cincinnati site were reportedly under an agreement with OSHA allowing them to self-police safety at the casino site. This is because the firms had good safety records, according to a report.

However, late last month at one of these firm's sites in Kentucky, a man fell 15 feet into a concrete basin at a job site. This accident is also under investigation.

Whatever turns out to have been the cause of all of these accidents, the injured parties may be able to receive workers' compensation benefits to cover their medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: Cincinnati.com, "Casino collapse investigation under way," Amanda Van Benschoten, Jan. 28, 2012

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