Fatal Fall Results in $687,629 in Penalties
Originally published by: OSHA — August 8, 2019
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited two contractors – Enerfab Process Solutions & Fabricated Products Inc. and Industrial Services Group Inc. – for exposing employees to fall hazards after a fatal injury at a Delaware Port of Wilmington worksite in January 2019. The companies face $687,619 in penalties.
Employees of Enerfab Process Solutions & Fabricated Products Inc. and Industrial Services Group Inc. – doing business as Universal Blastco - were renovating a 1.5 million gallon above ground storage tank at an orange juice processing facility in Port of Wilmington when a Blastco employee fell 40 feet from a scaffold.
OSHA initiated an investigation after notification of the fatality. The Agency issued willful citations to both companies for hazards involving scaffolding and lack of fall protection; and serious citations for electrical, confined space, and respiratory protection violations.
“Falls continue to be the leading cause of worker fatalities in the construction industry, yet they are preventable when the proper fall protection is utilized,” said OSHA Area Director Erin Patterson, in Wilmington, Delaware. “Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers from falls, and neither company met their obligations in this case.”
OSHA offers a wide-range of compliance assistance resources on preventing workplace falls.
Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Enerfab has submitted a Notice of Contest.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.