Company fined $101K after worker dies at Holland Civic Center

Holland Civic Cener, ceiling collapse
The scene where one person was killed and another seriously injured in a partial ceiling collapse at the Holland Civic Center, which is under construction. (Aug. 1, 2017)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — State officials have ordered a Grand Rapids construction company to pay $101,000 in fines after a deadly construction accident at the Holland Civic Center.

Ruben Gomez-Vasques, 38, died after part of the venue’s second floor collapsed during renovations on Aug. 1. Rafael Hernandez-Alvarez, 41, was pulled from the rubble with serious injuries, but has since been released from the hospital.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it issued the fines against Xtreme Demolition, Inc. on Nov. 28, after two inspections revealed seven violations.

At $70,000, MIOSHA’s largest fine against the company is for daily inspections that did not detect the hazards. State regulators also cited Xtreme Demolition, Inc. for “deficiencies” in its accident prevention program, substandard fall protection during demolition and unsupported floors during the project.

In the second inspection unrelated to Vasques’ death, MIOSHA fined XTreme Demolition, Inc. a total of $3,000 for a lack of safety fasteners on pneumatic tool connections and no pressure reducing safety device for a compressor.

State records obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show Xtreme Demolition, Inc. has a number of past violations, but none that appeared to involve the deaths of any other workers.

The Holland Civic Center is still under renovation. It’s expected to open in October 2018.