March 24, 2016
OSHA finds roofing contractor's safety failures led to one worker's death,
another's severe injuries at Florida job site
Agency determines incident was "preventable"
ORANGE CITY, Fla. - Had their employer inspected an aerial lift properly, it might not have malfunctioned and surged forward, crushing one worker to death and severely injuring another as they removed rain gutters at a local car dealership on Sept. 30, 2015, investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration have determined.
Employed by Tecta America Southeast LLC, Robert Heyman and another man were on the lift working when it suddenly lurched forward and pinned Heyman between its control panel and the edge of the roof. The 35-year-old foreman and father of three was pronounced dead at the scene. His co-worker was able to crawl out of the lift's basket and then fell nearly three stories, suffering multiple fractures in his left leg.
The workers were rehabilitating a Ford dealership on Volusia Avenue in Orange City.
OSHA opened its investigation upon learning of the fatal incident. On March 23, 2016, the agency issued citations to Tecta America Southeast for one repeated and four serious safety violations. Proposed penalties total $63,900.
"Tecta America Southeast could have prevented this tragedy by simply inspecting the lift before allowing its workers to use it," said Brian Sturtecky, director of OSHA's Jacksonville Area Office. "This company must immediately address safety hazards at its work sites and be vigilant in the future to protect its employees from harm."
OSHA issued one repeated citation for not ensuring that workers wore and attached a body belt or lanyard while using an aerial lift.
The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to:
- Provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.
- Protect workers from the hazards of unguarded machinery.
- Inspect aerial lift controls each day prior to use.
- Protect workers from electrical hazards due to improperly grounded wiring.
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/OSHA20160542.pdf
Based in Rosemont, Illinois, Tecta America is a nationwide commercial roofing company with more than 50 operations employing more than 2,500 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of their citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Release Number: 16-542-ATL (77)
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