Last November, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced felonious assault charges against a contractor’s superintendent and a manufacturer’s branch manager after two men suffered horrific injuries on a New York jobsite. Last week, OSHA formally announced citations against the St. Louis, Missouri based contractor.
On June 25, 2018, a mini crane fell four stories while lifting glass panels causing a traumatic brain injury to one worker and major spinal injuries to a second worker. Both the criminal charges and the OSHA inspection concluded that the contractor failed to properly train the employees on site before allowing them to operate the equipment.
“This employer knowingly put workers at risk by failing to ensure that the crane was operated by a competent person,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s Manhattan Area Office Director in a statement. “Effective training of employees, knowledge of equipment’s limits, and correct operation of equipment are critical to preventing injuries.”
In total, OSHA issued 1 serious and 1 willful citation with total proposed penalties of $155,204 to the contractor.
Specifically, the contractor was also cited for the equipment being used in excess of its rated capacity (29 CFR 1926.1417), failing to ensure that the operator verified that the load was within the rated capacity (29 CFR 1926.1417), not ensuring that the equipment operator was competent (29 CFR 1926.1427), and for failing to ensure the employee was properly trained and understood the information (29 CFR 1926.1427).
You can view the full text of the citations by clicking here.
In March of 2018, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed onto an open street below, killing 6 and injuring several others. Many investigations and lawsuits are still ongoing after the tragedy, but OSHA has released their official report after a roughly 14 month long investigation.
According to a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the construction industry sadly ranks first in total suicides and second in suicide rate compared to all other industries in the United States. In response, OSHA has recently published a webpage with resources to help prevent suicides in the construction industry.
As a storm blew through the Dallas, Texas area on Sunday afternoon, a tower crane standing near an occupied apartment building collapsed causing at least one fatality and 6 injuries.
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.
All trench collapse deaths are preventable. As soon as everyone on a job site starts believing that we might actually make some progress. In just the past 10 days, there have been 4 trench collapse deaths across 3 separate incidents, further highlighting how far we still need to go.
Falls on the jobsite is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. Keeping up with housekeeping on your site is a great way to reduce risks of falls, but other protections, like rebar caps should be installed when rebar is exposed. A young construction worker recently found out the hard way what happens when rebar is left exposed.