FL Drywall Contractor Cited After Fatal Injury

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2024


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleges in a recent investigation that a Florida drywall contractor could have prevented the death of a 22-year-old worker if it had followed required safety regulations.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's release, Stucco Works Inc. is a plastering, drywalling and stucco services employer for residential construction sites, located in Homestead, Florida. The company has reportedly been registered in the state since 2014.

Investigation Findings

Investigators with OSHA reportedly determined that a scaffold pulley system failed while workers were hoisting buckets of concrete at a Stucco Works Inc. residential construction site in Miami Beach.

As a result, the hoist arm of the pulley system detached from the scaffold and struck one worker across the head. The incident was fatal.

“Stucco Works’ failure to make employee safety a priority led to the loss of a young worker's life,” said OSHA Area Office Director Condell Eastmond in Fort Lauderdale. “Employers are required to follow the federal standards that are meant to protect workers from the hazards that caused this tragedy.”

OSHA cited Stucco Works with 12 serious violations for failing to maintain a safe working environment, including:

  • Subjecting workers to struck-by hazards from a pulley-hoisting device not installed per the manufacturer’s directions;
  • Exposing employees to eye and skin irritation while mixing cement and performing stucco work;
  • Failing to develop and use a hazard communication program;
  • Failing to establish an accident prevention program, subjecting workers to fall and struck-by hazards;
  • Allowing workers to use unsafe scaffolding;
  • Exposing workers to struck-by hazards and falls of up to 27 feet; and
  • Failing to train workers who erected and worked from scaffolding, exposing workers to fall and struck-by hazards.

Additionally, the administration says it found two other-than-serious violations after determining the company exposed workers to trips and fall hazards while they worked around cluttered materials and debris stored throughout the work area.

The employer also failed to maintain OSHA injury and illness records. Stucco Works was fined $74,555, an amount set by federal statute.

The company has reportedly contested OSHA’s findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA Top 10 Violation List

At the end of last year, OSHA unveiled its annual top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety standards for fiscal year 2023.

The preliminary data was presented by OSHA Region 6 Administrator Eric Harbin during the 2023 National Safety Council 2023 Safety Congress and Expo. The fiscal year ended on Sept. 30.

Fall Protection – General Requirements remains at the top of the list for the 13th year in a row, followed by Hazard Communication and Ladders once again.

The Top 10 most frequently cited standards for FY 2023 are:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 7,271 violations;
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,213;
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,978;
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,859;
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,561;
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,554;
  7. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,481;
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 2,112;
  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 2,074; and
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,644.

A more detailed analysis of the Top 10 violations for 2023 was published in Safety+Health magazine, a National Safety Council publication.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Citations; Civil Penalty; Contractors; Drywall; Enforcement; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Labor; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Program/Project Management; Residential contractors; Safety; Violations; Workers

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