A Cincinnati television station has uncovered a contractor using fake welding certifications on a major construction project at the University of Cincinnati.
Fox19 in Cincinnati uncovered false welding certifications turned in by Merit Erectors, Inc., a Cincinnati-based non-union subcontractor, who did some ironwork on the $86 million renovation of Nippert Stadium.
According the report, Fox19 obtained 14 welding certifications, all of which are believed to have been falsified. One of the certifications was even for a man who died 15 months before Merit was hired for the job by general contractor Turner Construction.
Merit allegedly falsified the records by saying the welding certification was validated in 2012 by a company called MQS that was not in business at the time. Furthermore, the individual whom they claim validated the certifications had left MQS in 2007.
Some workers on the project admitted to Fox19 they were not certified, while one former employee stated he “wasn’t sure what I was doing.”
The investigative report showed the certifications to an auditor from the American Welding Society, who quickly pointed out multiple problems with Merit’s welding certifications.
Based on the information Investigative Fox19 Reporter Jody Barr uncovered, he questioned the safety of stadium, since many of the welds were for structural purposes.
ACT Ohio and the Greater Cincinnati Construction Trades will continue to monitor this situation in Cincinnati.