MIAMI, Fla. – A South Florida masonry company received a $77,000 fine for safety violations that led to a worker falling to his death at a Miami construction site, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said.
An OSHA investigation triggered by the worker’s death in May resulted in Pompano Beach-based Coastal Masonry being hit with one willful and serious safety violation. According to the agency, the worker was helping to build interior and exterior walls for a multilevel condominium building on Brickell Bay Drive in Miami when he fell 70 feet while attempting to straighten a piece of bent rebar.
“Coastal Masonry ignored its responsibility to ensure workers performing masonry duties were provided with a fall protection system that would protect them effectively,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA’s area director in Fort Lauderdale. “Although the safety director informed management about the deficiencies with the fall protection system, the company allowed workers to be exposed to fall hazards,” he said.
OSHA said it cited Coastal Masonry with a willful violation for failing to ensure its workers were not exposed to free-fall hazards greater than 6 feet. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional, knowing, or voluntary disregard for the law or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The serious violation involves the company’s failure to inspect fall protection equipment worn by workers before use to ensure defective equipment is removed from service. According to OSHA, serious violations pose a significant probability of causing death or serious physical harm.