OSHA fines two Florida contractors after fatal fall on Miami site

ConDig (26-Jun-19).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined two Florida-based contractors $87,327 after a worker fell to their death on a construction project in Miami. 

The agency said that it had cited GA&L Construction Corp. Inc. and The Rinaldi Group of Florida LLC for failing to protect employees from fall hazards.

It comes as an employee was killed after falling from an elevated work platform. OSHA said inspectors determined that workers were exposed to fall, struck-by and impalement hazards on the worksite. 

The agency cited the companies for failing to provide fall protection and conduct regular inspections of the worksite, and permitting workers to use an unsecured extension ladder.

“Workplace safety standards exist to ensure that workers return to their families at the end of each day free from harm,” said OSHA Fort Lauderdale area director Condell Eastmond. “Disregarding legal obligations to identify and eliminate hazards can cause tragedies.”

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

Last month, OSHA fined a New Jersey-based contractor $19,890 for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards on a project in Paterson.

It also fined a Florida contractor in May $26,142 after a worker fell to their death on a project in Naples.The agency said that remodeling contractor Stettinius Construction Inc failed to provide fall protection system, train employees on ladder safety and identify potential fall hazards that allowed employees to use a portable ladder that did not extend above the landing.

In April, OSHA fined a Berlin Heights, Ohio-based construction company $56,828 after an employee fell 26-foot on a construction worksite in Gainesville, Florida.

A 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released in December showed that the rate of fatal injuries in the construction industry increased 6% in 2016 to 991 worker deaths compared with 937 in 2015.

BLS figures showed that falls, struck by objects, electrocutions and caught-in/between accounted for 63.7% of all construction worker deaths in last year. There was a rise in total construction worker deaths for each of the “Fatal Four” in 2016.

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