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TX Painter Perishes in Fall

Friday, April 3, 2015

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Federal safety authorities are investigating a 36-foot fall that claimed the life of a painter this week at an apartment complex in New Braunfels, TX.

The accident occurred as Victor Echartea-Medina, 41, of San Antonio, was standing on a platform at the end of a large multistory forklift about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (March 31).

At the time, he was unloading five-gallon buckets of paint on the fourth floor of the Creekside Way Apartments, New Braunfels Police reported.


The Construction Safety Council notes that front-end loaders and similar pieces of equipment should not be used to support scaffold platforms "unless they have been specifically designed by the manufacturer for such use."

The platform somehow became unstable, and Echartea-Medina fell to the ground, police said.

He was "responsive" when emergency crews arrived but died about 20 minutes later at Resolute Health Hospital, police reported.

Investigation Continues

Information about Echartea-Medina's fall protection and other details of the accident were not immediately available. Federal standards require protection for workers at six feet and higher. Separate standards cover the use of powered industrial trucks (forklifts).

Blazer Building
Blazer Building Inc.

General contractor Blazer Building Inc. says it has completed over 30,000 multi-family apartment and town home units since the company was founded in 1978.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into the incident.

An OSHA spokesman said Thursday (April 2) that Echartea-Medina was employed by Miguel Charles, a subcontractor for Blazer Building Inc. of Houston.

Charles could not be reached for comment. Blazer Building did not respond to a request for more information.

Neither Charles nor Blazer Building has a record of past citations with OSHA.


Tagged categories: Access; Commercial Construction; Fall protection; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; lift; North America; OSHA; Painting Contractors

Comment from Bill Connor, Jr., (4/3/2015, 6:28 PM)

Short cuts can be fatal. Wrong methods and equipment are never the right way to work.

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