Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-175
Mon., Oct. 1, 2001
Contact: Luis Santiago
Phone: (954) 424-0242
FATAL FT. LAUDERDALE SCAFFOLDING ACCIDENT BRINGS OSHA CITATIONS, FINES FOR FLORIDA STUCCO COMPANY
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Failure to safely attach scaffolding cables and train workers about fall prevention has resulted in two citations and proposed fines of $58,500 for a Florida company following a fatal accident, the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today.
OSHA cited Professional Stucco of S. Florida, Inc. following an April 10 accident in which one employee died and another was seriously injured when they fell from suspended scaffolding. The accident occurred when one of the cables anchoring scaffolding to the building broke away, causing the workers -- who were not wearing safety harnesses -- to slide off the platform to the ground seven stories below.
"This tragic accident could have been prevented if the company had followed accepted industry standards," said Luis Santiago, OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale area director. "Because of the hazardous nature of the construction industry, we have a fall protection special emphasis program in Florida to help employers; however, this employer chose not to protect its workers."
One alleged serious citation was issued for attaching scaffolding cables to a portion of the building that did not have the strength to hold the scaffold and failing to train workers about the equipment they were using, about fall hazards associated with the work they were doing, and about how to protect themselves from those hazards.
The company also received one alleged repeat citation for failing to inspect the scaffolding and equipment for defects and for failing to install guardrails and to provide protective equipment so that, even if the cable broke, the workers would be protected from falling.
Professional Stucco of S. Florida, Inc., has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the Ft. Lauderdale OSHA area office located at Jacaranda Executive Court, Bldg. H-100, 8040 Peters Rd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., phone: (954) 424-0242.
Employers who want more information about OSHA's fall protection program may call the compliance assistance specialist Vergie Bain at (954) 424-0242. This service is separate from the enforcement arm of the agency.