Workers await reopening of casino construction site

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati casino site remained closed to construction Monday as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continued their investigation into Friday's collapse.

"I'm just waiting for them to give me a call to tell me I can go back to work," said one casino construction worker who wished to remain anonymous.

It is now nearing the fourth day since the casino site was shut down.

"It's safer to be at home right now," the worker said. "I'd rather OSHA do their job and tell us it's safe to go back to work."

Troy Wagner, a spokesperson for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 24, says every hour the site is shut down is money out of his sheet metal workers' pockets.

"Things haven't been good these past few years as far as work, especially in the construction industry," said Wagner. "This was key for a lot of people to get some hours back in."

"We don't have paid holidays, don't have sick pay, no off days for anything like this," he said. "So pretty much if we're not working we don't get paid."

Like OSHA, however, Wagner says safety is paramount.

"We will keep that site closed until we're confident we have the information we need and that it's safe for people to go in there," said OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen.

OSHA brought in an engineer from Chicago Monday to investigate the collapse. They say they have up to six months to complete their work.

"Part of the investigation might be that we might need to see something that is buried under the rubble from the accident so there will be times we'll say 'OK, I need to see as you move this debris what's underneath there'," Allen explained. "So it could take a while. "

Allen says they did give the general contractor the green light to continue work on the unaffected areas of the site.  Messer Construction representatives planned to send out a release updating workers on an expected date to resume work but a spokesperson said that announcement has been postponed.

"We're definitely going to be more aware of what's going on at this particular site and make sure that all of the OSHA regulations are being followed," Allen emphasized.

Allen says OSHA will be comparing notes from the Cleveland casino incident in December as well.

"Obviously we're going to look at both these sites because there are some similarities to what's going on there," Allen said. "We'll share the information to try and determine if there's a common denominator.

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