9 workers hurt when old steel plant roof collapses

Pennsylvania visitors to this blog will likely have more than a glint of recognition when it comes to the name Bethlehem Steel. Once the biggest rival to Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel, Bethlehem Steel plants had a big imprint in our part of the country. Now that the company is bankrupt and out of business, many of its old facilities are in disrepair — even if their shells remind us of what was once a thriving industry here.

One of those closed plants is Baltimore County, Maryland. Workers there have been in the process of dismantling the complex there, which used to be a major employer. At its peak about 55 years ago, around 30,000 people worked at the plant. The building has sat empty for the last few years, however.

It was during this demolition work that the roof on the old complex gave way suddenly earlier this week. Nine workers were injured in the collapse and sent to the hospital. At least four of the workers hurt in the factory accident had injuries that were deemed to be serious, with some injured critically.

County officials had granted a demolition permit to the company doing the work; however, officials don’t usually oversee demolition work once it has begun. Investigators from the state Occupational Safety and Health division were looking into the accident; it was too soon to say if the demolition company would be cited for any reason.

Workplace injuries can be devastating, leaving people unable to work for long periods of time — sometimes even permanently. Having an experienced workplace accidents attorney to consult with can often be a comfort for people who have been hurt on the job.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Injuries climb to nine in building collapse at old Bethlehem Steel plant,” Jessica Anderson and Justin Fenton, May 5, 2014

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