- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fargo, ND, contractor Lorz Construction — a company they also cited in 2014 — for three willful safety violations in connection with a worker fall resulting in serious injuries. OSHA has proposed a $105,000 penalty.
- OSHA said a worker fell and injured his back and legs when the forklift platform he was working on tipped over.
- OSHA inspectors discovered several violations when investigating the contractor, including employees working from scaffolds up to three stories without guardrails or fall protection equipment; failure to ensure that forklifts supporting scaffold platforms were not moved while the platform was occupied; and failure to construct scaffolds correctly.
This is the most recent fall violation incident in which OSHA has levied hefty fines on a contractor. The agency fined a Brooklyn, NY, contractor $85,000 for an April 2015 incident that resulted in a worker's death after he fell off an unprotected edge of a building. The agency also fined two Texas contractors $47,000 for failing to provide adequate protection after a worker died in a fall from a forklift.
According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, consisting of approximately one-third of all fatalities in the industry. Fall protection is at the top of OSHA’s Top 10 job site violations for 2015.
"Falls remain the leading cause of death and injury on construction sites. It is inexcusable for employers to not provide fall protection," said Eric Brooks, OSHA's area director in Bismarck, ND. "Despite being previously cited for exposing workers to these hazards, Lorz Construction has yet to commit to its legal responsibility to protect workers on the job."