Contractor found responsible for Bryant University building collapse

Contractor found responsible for Bryant University building collapse

SMITHFIELD – A contractor is being blamed for a “preventable” building collapse at Bryant University last September, according to inspection results from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Barnes Building and Management Group, based in Weymouth, Mass., is facing $59,290 of proposed penalties for “one willful and one serious violation of workplace safety standards,” according to a press release from the Department of Labor.

On the morning of Sept. 1, 2015, six workers were injured after a steel structure collapsed at the university – part of ongoing construction of an indoor practice facility on campus.

The contractor did not erect steel framework according to the manufacturer’s plan or install adequate bracing to ensure stability, says OSHA.

“The company chose to disregard these important safeguards, resulting in a needless and preventable collapse and injuries,” Patrick Griffin, OSHA’s Rhode Island area director, said in a statement.

OSHA issued citations to the company on Feb. 8. It has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to the press release.

Barnes Buildings called the citations “surprising and unwarranted,” and said its crews were erecting the structure following manufacturers’ plans, according to a statement.

The company says it will work with OSHA in the coming weeks to settle the dispute.

No Bryant students or staff members were near the site when the accident happened, representatives from the university said in a statement last fall.

Some workers fell about 30 feet when the structure collapsed. Their injuries were reported as non-life-threatening.

Construction on the facility began in May 2015, and was scheduled to be completed some time this year.

A/Z Corporation, of Connecticut, was managing the construction project.