Safety and OSHA News

Half-million dollar OSHA fine: Worker without PPE falls to his death

OSHA is issuing maximum fines to a structural steel company after a 22-year-old ironworker fell to his death just weeks after starting his job. 

The worker, whose name hasn’t been released, fell more than 30 feet while standing on a 9-inch-wide steel girder on a building under construction in Kansas City, MO, on July 25, 2014.

OSHA says the worker wasn’t provided fall protection by Fastrack Erectors Inc., a subcontractor on the construction job.

Now the company faces seven willful and three serious safety violations for a total of $511,000 in fines. OSHA levied the maximum allowed for all of the violations: $70,000 for each willful, and $7,000 for each serious.

Fastrack has also been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program which mandates follow-up inspections.

Besides failing to provide fall protection for employees working at heights of more than six feet, OSHA said Fastrack also:

  • allowed workers to climb a scissor lift to access steel frame and decking
  • allowed workers to climb the rails of an aerial lift basket
  • used makeshift devices on scaffold platforms to increase working height
  • didn’t inspect fall arrest systems before use, and
  • failed to instruct workers on the use and application of fall protection equipment.

OSHA says Fastrack violated its own safety manual and the contract it signed to work on the construction project which required employees who worked at heights higher than six feet to be provided with fall protection.

The general contractor, ARCO National Construction-KC Inc., was cited for four serious violations including lack of fall protection during steel erection activities, using makeshift devices to increase working heights and climbing the guardrails of aerial and scissor lifts. ARCO’s fines total $24,000.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the violations to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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