Volume 50, Issue 7 - July 2015

Safety

OSHA Cites Two Florida Companies
for Fall-Related Safety Violations

Fall protection on the construction site is a serious topic. According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls killed 294 of the 796 construction workers who died on the job in 2013. Just this past spring, OSHA penalized two Florida companies for fall-related violations.

OSHA cited Florida-based Pinnacle Roofing Contractors $154,000 for not providing adequate safety precautions at a site where one of its employees fell to his death through a skylight.

Last October, while working atop a warehouse in Jacksonville, Pinnacle worker John W. Miles III “crashed through a skylight without an adequate safety cage and plunged more than 24 feet to the ground below,” according to an OSHA report. He died of his injuries after being admitted to an area hospital.

OSHA found Pinnacle “had failed to install protective cages over the skylights,” and cited the Jacksonville-based company for two willful and two serious violations.

According to the report, OSHA issued two willful citations to the company for allowing employees to work at heights greater than six feet without guardrails or fall protection and for not installing protective systems on the skylights. Two serious citations were issued “for failing to ensure the edge of the roof was marked and for not installing skylight protection systems capable of supporting a worker’s fall.”

Pinnacle was cited for fall safety hazards in a past investigation, and OSHA has proposed that it be placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Also in Florida, nine contractors at the newly constructed Oasis Park Square residential development in Doral, Fla., including Unity Windows Inc., of Medley, Fla., are facing a total of $152,000 in proposed penalties after inspectors from OSHA found several serious safety violations at the work site.

According to OSHA documents, Unity Windows received two citations totaling $10,000. Both were for failing to protect workers from falls.

In 2007, Unity was issued three citations related to hazard communications, power tools and electrical hazards.

Texas Extruder
Faces OSHA Fines

Extruders Inc., of Wylie, Texas, a division of Dallas-based Atrium Corp., is facing $26,500 in citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following the death of a maintenance worker.

In February, USGlass magazine reported that Steven Jeffrey Amdall, 51, died on November 22, 2014, following what Extruders Inc., plant manager Justin Ames called “an unfortunate and tragic event.” Robert Laughon, a field agent with the Collin County (Texas) Medical Examiner’s Office, confirmed to USGlass in February that official records of the incident described Amdall’s death as an accident.

The “FY15 Fatalities and Catastrophes to Date” document on OSHA’s website lists the following incident on November 22, 2014, at Extruders Inc.: “Worker performing maintenance fatally crushed between saw motor machine and air duct.” (Amdall’s name is not mentioned in the entry.)

Extruders Inc.’s latest OSHA citations, while not mentioning Amdall’s death, list four major violations:

• The employer had not conducted periodic inspection of the energy control procedures for equipment including, but not limited to, the 9-inch press line;

• Affected employees had not been instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedures including, but not limited to, the 9-inch press line.

• On November 22, 2014, at the 9-inch press line, when employees completed repair of a lower puller pulley shaft and were testing the repair, the proper sequence of actions was not followed, including removal of employees from hazardous areas during the testing and the de-energization and re-application of energy control measures before continuing maintenance activities;

• On November 22, 2014, at the hot saw for the 9-inch press line, employees lifting aluminum so that it could be picked up by a high puller were exposed to moving machinery.

USGlass reached out to Ames for comment, but at press time he had not responded.
In October 2013, USGlass reported that OSHA had cited Extruders Inc. for 15 safety violations that totaled $166,000 in penalties, including failure to protect workers from the inadvertent start-up of machinery during maintenance.



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