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Region 4 News Release   ATL: 03-77
Wed., April 16, 2003
Contact: Luis Santiago       Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (954) 424-0242     (404)562-2076


OSHA Cites Florida Contractors for Exposing Workers
To Fall Hazards That Led to Fatal Accident

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two contractors for failing to protect workers from fall hazards at a Jensen Beach job site. The agency issued citations, with proposed penalties totaling $158,500, to Continental Painting, Waterproofing & Restoration, Inc., and one citation, with a proposed penalty of $2,500, to Safway Steel Products, Inc.

Continental employees were replacing balconies and restoring the exterior stucco of two ten-story condominium buildings on South Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach, when the fatal accident occurred. Safway Steel provided the scaffolding systems for the project. On Oct. 17, in preparation for the installation of balcony rails, a Continental employee was drilling holes in the new concrete floor of a balcony when he fell seven stories to the ground. He died later that day at a trauma center.

"OSHA's safety standards for fall protection are designed to prevent a tragedy such as this," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "We are proposing the maximum penalties in this case, because Continental has been cited in the past for similar violations."

According to Luis Santiago, OSHA's area director in Ft. Lauderdale, the agency issued five repeat citations to Hollywood-based Continenal Painting, Waterproofing & Restoration. One, directly related to the accident, carries a proposed penalty of $35,000 for failing to provide workers with proper fall protection equipment. The others, each with a proposed penalty of $25,000, cited the company's failure to provide workers with appropriate personal protective equipment and scaffolding with proper fall arrest systems and guardrails.

A repeat citation is issued when a company has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The company received citations for other alleged serious safety violations, with $23,500 in proposed penalties.

Safway Steel Products, Inc., received a serious citation, with a proposed penalty of $2,500, for failing to properly install the suspension scaffolds. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

The companies have 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection of the work site was conducted by OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale office at the Jacaranda Executive Court, 8040 Peters Rd., Bldg. H-100; phone: (954) 424-0242.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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