Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 00-163
Friday, Sept. 15, 2000
Contact: Lawrence J. Falck, III
PHONE: (813) 626-1177 ext. 0
CONTRACTORS FINED $45,500 FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT AT TAMPA CONSTRUCTION SITE
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited three companies for safety violations following a fatal accident at a Tampa apartment complex construction site. Penalties proposed against the three firms totaled $45,500.
According to Lawrence Falck, OSHA's Tampa area director, Atlanta-based Post Properties, Inc., the project's general contractor, hired Future Capital Holding Corporation, Canton, Ga., to perform work at the Harbor Place Drive work site. Future Capital Holding sub-contracted the work to Pina Construction, a Tampa firm.
OSHA began its inspection following the March 15th death of a Pina Construction employee, one day after he fell 41 feet from the top of an apartment building where he was installing wooden roof trusses. Falck explained, "The employee was releasing trusses from a crane when a truss from the bottom of the stack shifted and struck him, causing him to fall over the edge of the building to the concrete below."
All three companies were cited for failing to provide conventional fall protection required on a construction job site.
In the case of the two sub-contractors, the citations were classified as serious with penalties of $5,600 against Future Capital Holding Corp. and $4,900 against Pina Construction.
The much greater $35,000 fine proposed against Post Properties was the result of the repeat nature of the violation. The company had been cited by OSHA for the same violation within the last two years.
"Employers have an obligation to protect their workers from known hazards," said Falck. "If guardrails, personal fall arrest systems or safety nets had been used, this tragedy could have been averted."
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The contractors have 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the Post Properties apartment construction site was conducted by OSHA's area office located at 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A, Tampa, Fla. 33610-4249; telephone: (813) 626-1177.