Major construction projects are great things. They create jobs for a lot of workers. With the economy still sluggish at best, everyone agrees that we can use all the jobs we can get. The mildness of the winter throughout the Midwest, including Mundelein, probably represents something of a boon for construction. But it also increases the risks of individuals suffering a workplace accident. And the reality is that the work doesn't stop for long, even when accidents do occur.
Take, for example, the matter of a particular casino construction project. Last week, the floor literally fell out from under the feet of a crew of workers who were spreading concrete over some sheet metal. More than a dozen of the workers suffered injuries and were hospitalized. Most were treated and released, but three people were reportedly still hospitalized, one in serious condition, as this entry was being written. The site is in Cincinnati.
Work on the site, one of the largest projects in the downtown area right now, was suspended immediately after the collapse on Friday. But as of yesterday, workers were back and work had resumed, though not in the area of the collapsed floor. That's on hold while an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Cincinnati building officials continues.
Workers got the go ahead to resume construction in other areas after unspecified safety improvements were put in place.
According to official reports so far, the accident occurred when a steel beam broke loose, causing the collapse of the floor and the sheet metal. It came six weeks after the collapse of a parking garage at the site of another under-construction casino in Cleveland. While both projects are being developed by the same company, Rock Gaming, their contractors are different.
Source: Cincinnati.com, "Casino workers happy to return," Alexander Coolidge, Feb. 1, 2012; "Casino collapse investigation under way," Amanda Van Benschoten, Jan. 28, 2012