Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A. - Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers

Fatalities serve as reminder of construction site danger

The death of two construction workers who were building the JW Marriott Hotel in Orlando, Florida has resulted in citations for their employers and a renewed call for workplace safety.

The workers were among a crew pouring concrete on the building's seventh floor when the support structure collapsed, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA citations

An OSHA investigation found the contractors - PCL Construction Services and Universal Engineering Sciences - didn't properly inspect shoring, formwork, decks and scaffolding before the work started. In addition, OSHA issued a citation to PCL Construction Services for failing to design and erect the framework so that it was capable of supporting sufficient loads.

The three citations to the two contractors totaled $157,792 in penalties.

OSHA also issued hazard alert letters to the construction workers' employers - Puleo's Concrete and C&C Pumping Services - recommending they work with the general contractor to ensure proper shoring equipment installation.

A dangerous profession

OSHA reports that 5,147 workers were killed while on the job in 2017 - more than 98 deaths for every week. Of those, 20 percent were in construction. Excluding highway collisions, the OSHA "Fatal Four" construction accidents are:

  • Falls - 39 percent
  • Struck by object - 8 percent
  • Electrocution - 7 percent
  • Caught in or between objects - 5 percent

Each year, OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Center for Construction Research and Training presents the National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction. The event, on March 22, 2019, encourages construction workers to stop during the workday and listen to a safety workshop.

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