OSHA fined SGL Constructors, a joint venture between Skanska USA, Granite Construction and The Lane Construction Corp., $15,150 in relation to a February jobsite death on the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate project for the Florida DOT in Orlando. The agency cited the JV for two violations — one serious ($13,260) and one other ($1,895).
OSHA levied the fines and citations against the JV after a worker was hit in the head by a steel pipe while trying to load it onto a flatbed trailer. The serious citation was for the violation of OSHA regulation (5)(a)(1), which mandates that employers provide each employee a workplace free from hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. The other citation was for a violation of Part 1904, Subpart A, which sets recording and reporting requirements for occupational injuries and illnesses.
SGL had 15 working days from the date the citations and fines were issued — Aug. 2 — to contest OSHA's actions. As of Aug. 20, the case status was "Pending abatement of violations, pending penalty payment."
This was the fourth fatal accident on the project since construction began in 2015. The first death happened in February 2016 when another employee of the JV, 34-year-old Marvin Franklin, was hit by a dump truck filled with dirt. In December of that same year, an employee of subcontractor Central Florida Underground, 59-year-old Curtis Copley, died after he was struck by a piece of steel equipment. In March 2018, Michael Tolman, an employee of subcontractor Shelby Erectors, died after a rebar cage fell on him.
Just days after the February 2019 incident, three SGL workers were injured after they fell 15 feet from an elevated platform while pouring concrete. Emergency responders told local media that the accident was a result of a failed section of formwork. SGL Constructors immediately halted work so the firm could inspect similar platforms.
Struck-by hazards are a focus of OSHA, one of the agency's "fatal four." These are the leading causes of death in the construction industry, proceeding falls (39.2% of deaths in 2017); struck-by object (8.2%); electrocutions (7.3%); and caught-in/between (5.1%). OSHA suggests that to avoid struck-by accidents and injuries, employees should never position themselves between moving and fixed objects and always wear high-visibility clothing while working next to equipment and vehicles.