Source: https://www.fireengineering.com, February 6, 2019
A gas explosion in a San Francisco neighborhood shot flames into the air for hours Wednesday and burned five buildings, sending panicked residents and workers fleeing into the streets.
It took utility crews more than two hours to put out the fire after private construction workers cut a natural gas line, igniting the towering flames, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said. Authorities initially said five workers were missing, but the entire construction crew was found safe, and no other injuries were reported.
Officials evacuated several nearby buildings, including a medical clinic and apartment buildings, Hayes-White said. Vehicles on a busy street got rerouted as authorities cordoned off the bustling retail and residential neighborhood.
The fire damaged a building housing Hong Kong Lounge II, a popular dim sum restaurant frequented by tourists and students at the University of San Francisco that made many “best of” lists.…
Source: https://www.wftv.com, October 30, 2018
Dozens of buyers claim their new homes are falling apart, but a major builder refuses to fix defective stucco despite a multimillion-dollar state settlement.
They sued KB Home. The homeowners claim new testing and internal documents show the new homes’ stucco coating failed building codes and the company knew it.
Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich found homes KB refused to fix.
The stucco cracks can be extreme on some homes. Sometimes the concrete coating failed so badly, chunks of the wall just fell off.
“How does that happen?” Ulrich asked.
“Uh, wow, it’s hard to take. It really infuriates you, to be honest,” said homeowner Omar Kashif.…
Source: https://www.enr.com, August 30, 2018
By: Jeff Yoders
The roof of the sludge concentration building at Chicago’s Calumet Water Reclamation Plant collapsed after an explosion Aug. 30 around 11 a.m. Ten people were hurt and successfully evacuated to area hospitals for treatment by the Chicago Fire Dept. The plant is located in south suburban Riverside and is the oldest of the seven Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago wastewater treatment facilities. It opened in 1922 and provides wastewater treatment to approximately 1 million homes and businesses in southern Cook County.
According to a statement from the city/county agency, two people were trapped and were extricated from the building by Chicago Fire Department emergency crews and transported to local hospitals along with the other eight injured personnel. Firefighters to had to tunnel more than 40 ft through the rubble to extract one of the trapped, injured workers; that rescue took nearly two hours.…
Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com, August 3, 2018
By: Elizbeth Dinan
A contractor accused in a federal lawsuit of faulty construction at the 100-unit Wamesit Place housing complex filed a court motion denying liability, while reporting if it is found liable, so too should five other contractors who worked there.
The lawsuit was filed by Portsmouth attorney John Bosen, on behalf of the Wamesit Place Family Housing Limited Partnership, and claims poor construction caused mold to grow in apartments, that firewalls “are inadequate and/or nonexistent throughout the apartments” and remediation will require a “massive” amount of work and the temporary relocation of some residents.
One of the defendants, Portland Builders, filed a July 30 notice with the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire stating it was contract manager in 2011 and 2012 for renovations that included roofs, windows, doors and siding at homes throughout the neighborhood. The contractor reiterates Wamesit’s claim that defects were discovered, beginning in 2015, that led to mold and the discovery of code violations.…
Source: http://norcal.news, April 25, 2018
By: Bethany Klein
When most people think of environmental disasters in the San Francisco Bay Area, they almost certainly think of earthquakes, seeing that there are two major fault lines near San Francisco.
However, even though earthquakes can wreak immeasurable, unpredictable havoc, they are certainly not always to blame for sending people to hospitals.
Gas leaks are.
On Monday, April 23, 2018, a gas leak at a homeless shelter at roughly 11 a.m. Pacific Savings Time caused people to feel severely nauseous. Construction workers had been digging in an alleyway right before the leak started spreading gas vapor throughout the area with.…
Source: http://6abc.com, March 19, 2018
A contractor struck a six-inch gas main in Hamilton Township, Mercer County on Monday.
Calls starting coming in around 1 p.m. for a strong smell of gas in the area of the township known as Five Points.
The intersection was closed and traffic was being diverted through the neighborhoods.
Chopper 6 was over the scene as workers fixed the main.
No injuries have been reported.…
Source: https://www.lexology.com, January 24, 2018
By: Smith Currie & Hancock
In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published its final rule lowering the permissible silica exposure level (“PEL”) from 250 µg/m3 to 50 µg/m3. In response, OSHA received petitions from both a collection of industry petitioners (“Industry”) arguing that OSHA made the regulation too stringent and several union petitions (“Unions”) arguing that OSHA failed to make the regulation stringent enough to protect workers. On December 22, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected all of the industry’s challenges to the regulation. See N. Am.’s Bldg. Trades Unions v. Occupational Safety & Health Admin., No. 16-1105, 2017 WL 6543858 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 22, 2017). The court further held that OSHA failed to adequately explain its decision to omit medical removal protections from the regulation and remanded the issues for further consideration.
At the forefront of the court’s opinion, it outlines 29 U.S.C. §655(f), “the substantial evidence standard”, under which OSHA only needed to provide substantial evidence to uphold the requisite threshold finding of a significant risk of material health impairment that will be reduced by the new PEL (50 µg/m3). Under this standard, while OSHA must rely upon a “body of reputable scientific thought” when assessing risk, it is not required to “calculate the exact probability of harm” or support its findings with anything approaching scientific certainty.” [pg 8]. “OSHA is not precluded from relying on imperfect evidence so long as it ‘recognize[s] and account[s] for the methodological weaknesses’ of the evidence.” [pg 14]. The basis of the court’s holding is that the Industry failed to demonstrate how OSHA failed to meet its substantial evidentiary burden.…
Source: http://boston.cbslocal.com, September 18, 2017
By: Ken MacLeod
There are health concerns in a Wilmington neighborhood after a construction crew started tearing down a house filled with asbestos, without following the proper safety procedures.
The issue was so bad; the Department of Environmental Protection was summoned to oversee things. When neighbors complained, it did bring about change.
Dave Norton worries about his granddaughter and his neighbors after the demolition triggered a cloud of asbestos dust.…
Source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com, June 25, 2017
By: Brooks Johnson
A homeowners association is suing the developer, builder and manager of the Superior Vista condominiums, among others, claiming the Mesaba Avenue complex was not properly built and ought to be repaired under warranty.
“Many areas of the building were not built to applicable building code, industry standard and/or engineering specifications … all of which is allowing for excessive water intrusion, deterioration and decay,” reads the suit by the Superior Vista Homeowners Association filed in St. Louis County District Court last fall.
It’s exactly the kind of suit that some say has discouraged new condo development in recent years, and one that could become less common due to a change in state law that passed the Legislature earlier this year.
“The number of townhomes and condos being built have dramatically dropped, in part because of this legal landscape,” said David Siegel, executive director of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. “If the liability is so great, and the costs are so great, we’re just going to stay away.”
Legislation pushed by Siegel’s group aims to slow down the liability lawsuits by requiring homeowner association membership to vote on such suits; require a maintenance record kept by the association; and mandate mediation before a suit is launched.
“We needed to put guardrails in,” Siegel said. “We don’t want to take away the ability to remedy the problems, but there are less expensive solutions that can solve the problems.”