Federal authorities are investigating a worker’s fatal fall from a highway overpass in Texas—the company’s third death in seven years.
Victor Trevino, 36, was working the overnight shift on the Highway 281 overpass in San Antonio when he apparently slipped and plunged 70 feet to his death just before 4 a.m. Monday (June 4), police said.
|Family members said Victor Trevino had been working seven days a week.|
Trevino had been wearing a harness at the time, but it did not appear to be attached to anything, police said.
Trevino worked for Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc. of Houston, TX. It was company’s third employee death since July 2005.
Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc.
|Williams Brothers’ motto is "A Safe Company to Work For.” The firm is Texas’ largest highway contractor.|
A call to the company Friday (June 8) was not returned.
Working 7 Days?
Police said Trevino had been helping to secure metal planks on the overpass when he lost his footing and fell. He and a piece of that metal landed on the southbound lanes of the highway below. His hardhat was found nearby. The project was halted until about 8 a.m.
Two of Trevino’s family members told KSAT-TV that Trevino had been working seven days a week, up to 15 hours a day. They said he had held the job for a few months and had recently shown off the worksite to his 9-year-old son.
Founded in 1955, Williams Brothers bills itself as one of the largest highway contractors in the United States and the largest such firm in Texas. In 1998 and 1999, Williams Brothers was recognized as the largest federal aid highway contractor in the U.S., the company said.
The company also has a record with OSHA. In July 2005, an employee was crushed to death by a crane weight. OSHA originally issued two serious citations and $12,000 in fines in the worker’s death. The case was settled with one serious citation and a $5,000 fine.
In February 2009, a Williams Brothers employee fell from a bridge girder in Houston and was killed. No citations were issued, and no further information was immediately available.
In August 2009, the company was issued two serious citations and fined $3,750 by OSHA for excavation and personal protective equipment violations. The violations were later reclassified as “other than serious”; the fine stood.
In December 2010, the company received one repeat citation and a $35,000 fine for a fall protection violation. The case was later reduced to a serious violation and $7,000 fine.
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction-related trades and increase during construction’s busy summer season. Falls injured more than 10,000 construction-related workers (including painters) in 2010 while working at heights; 255 were killed. OSHA recently launched a new campaign aimed at preventing falls.