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Demo company cited with "serious violations" following construction worker death

WRTV Investigates obtained a copy of the safety order, which was issued to Renascent, Inc. on March 11
RenascentScene.jpg
Posted at 10:11 AM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 08:24:29-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) has cited an Indianapolis demolition company with two serious violations following the September 30, 2023 death of a construction worker.

WRTV Investigates obtained a copy of the safety order, which was issued to Renascent, Inc. on March 11.

IOSHA’s inspection found Renascent did not furnish a place of employment “which was free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees when employee was struck by concrete beam when it collapsed.”

The incident happened at the corner of 16th Street and Senate Avenue near IU Health Methodist Hospital.

38-year-old Luis Alberto Orozco Gonzalez died.

WATCH | Man dies after structure collapse

Man dies after structure collapse near IU Methodist Hospital

IOSHA said an “acceptable abatement method to correct this hazard is not allow employees to work under structures that is being supported by shoring tower while it is actively being cut for demolition.”

In the second serious violation, IOSHA said “a written engineering survey was not performed by the competent person prior to the start of demolition operations.”

Each serious violation received a proposed $6,300 penalty for a total of $12,600.

Penalties are due within 15 working days of notification unless requested, according to the safety order.

Renascent has not paid the penalty and has not contested the safety order, according to an IOSHA spokesperson.

Both violations were “corrected during inspection,” according to the safety order.

WRTV Investigates also reached out to Renascent for comment via email and phone.

The company released a statement:

“Renascent engages engineers and experts in structure and demolition in every project we engage in, and this project was no different. Our culture is very safety-oriented at every level. We have great personal sadness at this unpredictable outcome in the particularly complex structural challenge of this project, and the resulting accident. We acknowledge the difficulty of the industry in clearing construction projects from many years earlier, with unknown quality of materials and construction practice, and the decay of time and weather. But, clearing the path for new construction and quality of life for citizens will always be necessary. As mentioned, we do take very seriously every moment of every project, and every employee, with the best engineers and experts available.”

Indiana University Health also released a statement:

"Construction site safety is of the highest priority for the new downtown hospital. IU Health appreciates the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Association's (IOSHA) involvement in the event. A different vendor was brought in to finish the removal of the tracks.”