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Worker Dangles From Scaffold at FL Site

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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A construction worker is safe after dangling from a scaffold for nearly an hour on Sunday morning (June 11) in Sarasota, Florida.

The Incident

At the construction site of Vue Sarasota Bay, a luxury condominium complex, two workers—whose names have not been released—were about 15 floors high when, according to reports, a line holding the scaffold snapped. Fellow construction crew members were able to rescue one of the workers, but the second had to wait for help.

Crews from several fire stations and special operations teams, including the High Angle Rescue Team from the Sarasota County Fire Department, gathered at the scene along with the Sarasota Police Department.

Fire Chief Michael Regnier told reporters that in his nearly 30 years with the department, he has seen about five or six rescues from high-rise buildings.

Rescue worker Paul Zaller was eventually able to rappel to the man from the 17th floor with a lifeline, allowing for the pair to be lifted up to safety.

Zaller commented that the team “worked together perfectly” for the rescue.

The man was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

The Project

The Vue Sarasota Bay is an 18-story, 144-unit condominium and is part of a $200 million development at the waterfront location that includes a Westin Hotel.

The units were supposed to be complete in the first quarter of 2017, however project contractor Kolter Group (West Palm Beach, Florida) announced in February that because of a labor shortage, the building would not be open until June.

Kolter Group has several branches including Kolter Homes, Kolter Urban, Kolter Land Partners and Kolter Hospitality. The branch responsible for its condominium projects, Kolter Urban, does not appear to have any record of safety violations over the past five years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's online enforcement database.

KAST Construction, also of West Palm Beach, is listed as the construction manager at risk on the project. KAST also has no record of violations in the past five years. An inspection of a KAST site in February that OSHA chracterizes as stemming from a complaint turned up no violations.

It has not been confirmed whether OSHA is investigating Sunday’s incident. Messages to both Kolter Group and KAST Construction went unreturned as of Monday afternoon (June 12).


Tagged categories: Accidents; Contractors; Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; OSHA; Safety; Scaffolding

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