April 20, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
Department proposes $59,000 in penalties for 16 serious violations
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $59,000 against four contractors ¿ Starsouth Stucco Systems, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Safety Guys Inc. and M.C. Velar Construction ¿ for multiple safety violations at a construction site in Miami, Fla.
The safety violations led to a fatality that occurred on Nov. 1, 2006, when a plasterer working on one of the building's balconies fell 210 feet.
"Falls are a major cause of preventable workplace deaths in the U.S., and the department will not tolerate employers who ignore safety standards," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale. "These companies placed the lives of employees at risk by not providing proper fall protection equipment and training."
OSHA issued 16 serious citations against the companies for allowing employees to work on unprotected balconies, allowing employees to use defective and inadequate safety equipment, not inspecting defective safety devices and not removing defective devices, having an inadequate safety program, and not providing employees with adequate safety training.
The employee who died worked for Starsouth Stucco Systems. Safety Guys Inc. supplied the fall protection systems used at the site. M.C. Velar Construction provided concrete forming used at the site. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. was the general contractor responsible for all site activities.
The companies have 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office, 8040 Peters Road, Building H-100, telephone (954) 424-0242.
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 assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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