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).
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.