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OSHA: $102K Fine for Fatal Lift Tipover

Thursday, February 25, 2016

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Federal authorities have levied fines against a Massachusetts roofing and waterproofing contractor after a worker died while operating an aerial lift on an inspection site in Taunton.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp. of Taunton with two willful and one serious violation carrying $102,900 in fines.

The citations stem from the Aug. 18, 2015 death of Kevin Miranda, 48, who was operating an aerial lift when it tipped over when extended to a height of 45 feet. When the lift tipped, the operator’s basket hit the ground. Miranda was ejected and thrown 16 feet; he subsequently died from his injuries, according to OSHA.

aerial lift
©iStock.com / pjhpix

The violations stem from a fatal aerial lift tipover last August at a project in Taunton, MA. The image does not depict the equipment in the case.

OSHA said the equipment was positioned on sloping ground, a condition in conflict with industry and safety standards as well as the lift operator’s manual. Additionally, OSHA said a fall protection lanyard was not attached to the basket or boom.

The company did not immediately respond Wednesday (Feb. 24) to a request for comment. According to Skyline Contracting’s website, the company provides a range of services including waterproofing and sealing, as well as roof installation, repair and replacement on commercial and residential projects.

The company does not have a previous record with OSHA.

‘Preventable’ Death

In issuing the citations in the case, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts said the incident was “preventable.”

“Safety standards exist for a good reason: to prevent incidents such as this, and the deaths and injuries that can result,” said Kenneth Shedden. “Employers must know and adhere to all applicable standards. The lives and well-being of their employees depend on it.”

safety training
©iStock.com / SharpPhotoPro

A serious citation was issued for the alleged failure to train employees on how to properly use the equipment and recognize safety hazards.

Miranda had been working to conduct an inspection on a large brick smokestack behind the St. Mary’s Catholic elementary school, according to a local newspaper.

3 Citations

The willful citations allege the employer failed to furnish equipment and a place of employment which were free from hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. In addition, the agency alleged that a body belt with lanyard attached to the boom or basket was not worn by the employee working from an aerial lift.

OSHA proposed $49,000 in fines for each of those hazards.

The third, and serious, citation was for the alleged failure to train employees on how to properly use the equipment and recognize safety hazards. A fine of $4,900 was imposed for that violation.

The company has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Equipment manufacturers; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; lift; North America; OSHA; Roofing contractors; Waterproofing

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