News Release

Department of Labor finds two Houston contractors willfully ignored federal safety requirements, leading to fatal roof collapse at high school

ICI Construction, Emanuel Enterprises assessed $315K in total proposed penalties

HOUSTON – A federal investigation into the fatal roof collapse at Friendswood High School in June 2023 in which four workers suffered injuries — including one who later died — found two Houston-area contractors exposed employees to safety hazards by ignoring federal requirements to complete an engineering survey before demolition began.  

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that supervisors of ICI Construction Inc. and Emanuel Enterprises LLC failed to complete the survey and allowed demolition to continue, even after hazards became apparent to them. In fact, they directed employees to continue to work under the structure that later collapsed on them.

“Ignoring federal standards and the company’s own policies prevented them from identifying a load-bearing wall that was shown on construction drawings,” said OSHA Area Director Mark Briggs in Houston. “This willful disregard for worker safety was a tragic mistake that cost a worker his life.” 

OSHA issued citations to ICI Construction, the general contractor, and Emanuel Enterprises, the project’s demolition contractor, for willfully ignoring federal requirements to complete an engineering survey. In addition, the agency cited Emanuel Enterprises for three serious safety violations for its failures to protect workers from silica exposure and use respirators properly. 

OSHA assessed a total of $315,643 in proposed penalties, including $175,010 for Emanuel Enterprises LLC and $140,633 for ICI Construction Inc., both set by federal statute.

Founded in 1981, ICI Construction Inc. in Spring is a private family-owned general contractor employing about 50 people in the Houston area. Emanuel Enterprises LLC has operated in the Houston-area for approximately one year with 50 employees specializing in lead, asbestos and mold abatement and remediation, and demolition. 

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.                                                       

Learn more about OSHA and how to protect workers from exposure to silica and other construction hazards.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
December 14, 2023
Release Number
Media Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Media Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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