Sept. 8, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
Fatality at Palm House Hotel renovation site in February deemed 'totally avoidable'
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified 18 safety violations with proposed penalties totaling $108,700 against seven companies involved in the demolition and renovation of the Palm House Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla.
An employee of American Cutting and Drilling Co. died in February after part of the structure failed and collapsed while employees were cutting concrete floor and wall sections. American Cutting is being cited with one willful violation and a $49,000 penalty for failing to conduct frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite. OSHA is also proposing four serious violations carrying penalties of $15,750.
"American Cutting and Drilling stands out in its failure to provide the training and supervision required to assure that its employees would recognize when they were being exposed to a hazardous situation," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale.
The other companies being cited for serious safety violations with proposed penalties include Louie's Laborers ($15,300), Foster's Masonry Improvements ($9,800), Holeman Homes ($9,450), Carrier Concrete Cutting ($4,900), Roman Structures ($3,000) and Greg's Masonry ($1,500).
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the 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 a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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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