Investigation Into Building Collapse Could Take Six Months

Excert from OSHA's website on accident investigations:

Thousands of accidents occur throughout the United States every day. The failure of people, equipment, supplies, or surroundings to behave or react as expected causes most of them. Accident investigations determine how and why these failures occur. By using the information gained through an investigation, a similar, or perhaps more disastrous, accident may be prevented. It is important to conduct accident investigations with prevention in mind.

There are currently no specific standards for accident investigation.

Omaha, NE
On Monday, International Nutrition, located near 77th and I Streets, collapsed, injuring at least ten and killing two people. Several victims remain at area hospitals, as eyes turn to the investigation into what caused the collapse. According to investigators, it's too early to determine the cause, but a loose timeline is already in place.

Scott Allen, a spokesman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), told WOWT 6 News that, legally, his agency has six months to investigate.

"I would suspect it might take every bit of that because of the complexities of this one," said Allen.

International Nutrition, Inc. has been around since 1976, according to state documents. It's documented as an agricultural feed additive business. In court documents obtained online, International Nutrition, Inc. described it's business as "primarily one of mixing and packaging."

The business takes raw materials and adds medications and vitamins to fee for animal food manufacturers, feedlots, and poultry farms.

While OSHA investigators will continue to look into the accident, it doesn't mark their first time at the facility. The most recent visit from OSHA came in November 2011. Six violations were found, which incurred a penalty of $10,430.

"Primarily those were for electrical safety violations," said Allen. "They didn't have proper lock-out, tag-out procedures while people were working on equipment."

In total, OSHA has visited the facility 13 times dating back to 1974. Eight of those visits led to violations; however, Allen said International Nutrition, Inc. hasn't caused enough of a stir to land on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, or Severe VEP. Typically, the businesses who get the most attention land on that list and rack up violations of $100,000 or more.

WOWT 6 News has not been able to contact Steven Silver, the owner of the company, for reaction to Monday's incident. We have reached out, and will continue to do so.

WOWT NBC Omaha 3501 Farnam Street Omaha, NE 68131 (402) 346-6666
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