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Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 00-109
Wednesday, June 28, 2000
Contact: JOSE SANCHEZ
PHONE: (954) 424-0242
OSHA FINES BOCA RATON CONTRACTOR $58,800 FOLLOWING FATAL BOYNTON BEACH ACCIDENT
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Oceanview Construction Corporation and proposed penalties totaling $58,800 following a fatal accident at a Boynton Beach, Fla., construction site.
According to Jose Sanchez, OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale area director, an Oceanview employee was killed Jan. 18, 2000, when a portion of a 142-foot long by 14-foot high concrete block wall collapsed. Another employee received minor injuries.
"The building plans for this project called for the wall to be braced during construction and the general contractor had allegedly told Oceanview to brace the wall earlier in the day," said Sanchez. " On this particular day, the windy weather conditions alone should have alerted the company to the need to brace the wall."
Following an investigation of the fatality, OSHA cited Oceanview Construction Corporation and proposed penalties of $49,000 for one alleged willful violation and $9,800 for two serious violations for:
- failing to adequately brace a concrete block wall under construction;
- failing to have a safety program or to provide appropriate training for employees, and
- failing to establish an access zone around the concrete block wall.
"Employers should take seriously the safety and health of their employees, " said Sanchez. "Following the building plans, providing adequate training and adhering to applicable OSHA standards could have prevented this tragedy. Contractors should be aware that failing to take safety precautions can result in heavy costs in human suffering and financial resources."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
During recent years Florida has experienced a very high rate of construction fatalities. To counter this trend, OSHA developed and implemented the "CARE" (Construction Accident Reduction Emphasis) program, which is currently underway throughout the State. OSHA is targeting the four most deadly hazards on construction sites: falls, crushed-by accidents, caught- in accidents and electrocution.
In an attempt to significantly reduce the fatalities occurring in Florida, OSHA recently implemented two Local Emphasis programs to enhance the CARE program -- "Falls in Construction" and "Working in the Vicinity of Energized Overhead Power Lines". For more information on the CARE program, please contact any of the OSHA area offices in Florida.
Investigation of the Boynton Beach accident was conducted by OSHA's Ft. Lauderdale area office located at 8040 Peters Road, Building H-100, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33324-4029; telephone: (954) 424-0242.
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