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Construction Workers Injured in Onion Storage Collapse

Monday, August 7, 2017

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An onion storage building collapsed last Wednesday (Aug. 2) in Parma, Idaho, injuring six workers.

The storage facility was under construction at the time of the accident, and collapsed around 1:45 p.m., according to Parma Police Chief Albert Erickson.

Building Collapse

Rescuers informed KIVITV, Channel 6, that the six injured had been working on the roof when the structure collapsed. While information about the extent of their injuries was not immediately available, reports did indicate that all six workers were taken to local hospitals by ambulance. Erickson noted that he did not believe the injuries were life-threatening.

Police believe that a total of 14 workers were onsite at the time of the incident. Some were trapped under debris, but were pulled to freedom by coworkers and witnesses before the arrival of emergency crews.

A failed truss on the structure is suspected as the cause but not confirmed, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

J.C. Watson Co., a local family-owned onion producer and packer, owned the building and did not have a comment when contacted by Durability + Design News on Friday (Aug. 4). Jim MacFarlane Construction LLC was working on the building at the time of the collapse and could not be reached for comment.


According to OSHA, Jim MacFarlane Construction LLC was fined late last month three safety violations—two of them serious.

The company was fined a total of $7,243 for the violations, which included forklift operators not wearing seatbelts. The company has until Aug. 18 to schedule a conference to attempt to reach a settlement, or file an appeal.

Last year, the same site was the location of a sizeable crate fire. At the time, 1,000 wooden storage crates caught fire and created a blaze so intense that multiple fire agencies responded and left the entire block without power.

That incident was labeled "suspicious in nature" by officials, but the cause was never determined.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Construction; Health and safety; Maintenance + Renovation; North America

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