OSHA fines Florida carpentry contractor for fall violations

ConDig (14-July-22).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a  Fort Pierce carpentry contractor $32,113 after 19-year-old worker suffered fatal injuries in 25-foot fall.

The agency cited Union Carpentry LLC – a Fort Pierce carpentry contractor – after a federal workplace safety investigation determined the fatal fall could have been prevented if the employer used required fall protection.

The worker was installing trusses and plywood sheathing on a residential development clubhouse when they fell about 25 feet onto a concrete floor. 

OSHA cited the contractor for one willful violation for failing to ensure employees wore fall protection while exposed to fall hazards, and one serious violation for failing to train workers on the correct use of fall arrest systems.

“Falls from elevation cause the most fatalities in the construction industry, and time and again, we find employers exposing workers to fall hazards by ignoring safety standards,” said OSHA area office director Condell Eastmond in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

“Employers who fail to comply with fall protection standards put the lives and well-being of employees at risk and leave families to grieve when unnecessary tragedy strikes. OSHA will remain vigilant in holding employers accountable when they disregard their legal obligation to provide a safe work environment.”

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

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 351 of the 1,008 construction workers who died on the job in 2020 were victims of falls from elevation

In May, OSHA fined a Texas contractor $223,341 after a 21-year-old worker fell to his death.

Also in May, OSHA has fined an Illinois contractor $263,226 for fall violations.