Florida's GLF Construction Corp. cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for 14 serious safety violations following worker death
Worker was on job only one week when he was fatally injured
LAMONT, Fla. – On Jan. 16, 2014, David Kimberl, an 18-year-old laborer, was crushed to death when a bridge panel weighing nearly 1,800 pounds fell on him while he was dismantling a section of the old Aucilla River Bridge on U.S. 98 in Lamont. Kimberl was on the job for one week and had never worked in bridge construction. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited GLF Construction Corp. for 14 safety violations following its investigation of the fatality.
"This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer followed proper safety procedures to secure the bridge panels from falling over," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "This young man didn't even earn his first paycheck from GLF Construction when he paid the ultimate price of working on a mismanaged project. The only difference between a safe and unsafe act is the level of importance an employer places on doing what is right."
The 14 serious violations include the employer's failure to provide fall protection for employees working near the edge of a trestle; to provide instruction to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions associated with improperly secured bridge panels; and employee training to recognize struck-by hazards while working around cranes. OSHA cited the company for allowing materials to be loaded by a person who was not a qualified rigger and for failing to remove several synthetic web slings from service that were punctured, cut and torn.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
GLF Construction is a subsidiary of Rome, Italy-based Grandi Lavori Fincosit SpA, established in 1905. An international engineering and construction company, GLF Construction specializes in heavy civil projects, marine works, major bridge structures, general contracting, design-build and historical renovation. GLF Construction has more than 3,500 employees worldwide who provide extensive design, engineering and construction services to both the public and private sectors. The company has its U.S. headquarters in Miami, with divisional offices in Dallas and Wilmington, N.C.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 209 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.
OSHA's proposed penalties total $72,000. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report 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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).