Today's News / Occupational Safety

Teenage worker killed after one week on the job

OSHA Enforcement ActivityDavid Kimberl hadn’t even earned his first paycheck from a Florida construction company when he was killed while dismantling a section of a bridge in Larchmont. The 18-year-old, who had never worked in bridge construction, was crushed to death when a bridge panel weighing nearly 1,800 pounds fell on him.

An OSHA investigation into Kimberl’s death has resulted in 14 serious safety violations against GLF Construction Corp., a subsidiary of Rome, Italy-based Grandi Lavori Fincosit SpA.

Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville, said Kimberl “paid the ultimate price of working on a mismanaged project.”

The violations include the employer's failure to provide fall protection for employees working near the edge of a trestle; to provide instruction to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions associated with improperly secured bridge panels; and employee training to recognize struck-by hazards while working around cranes. OSHA cited the company for allowing materials to be loaded by a person who was not a qualified rigger and for failing to remove several synthetic web slings from service that were punctured, cut and torn.

An international engineering and construction company, GLF Construction specializes in heavy civil projects, marine works, major bridge structures, general contracting, design-build and historical renovation. GLF Construction has more than 3,500 employees worldwide who provide extensive design, engineering and construction services to both the public and private sectors. The company has its U.S. headquarters in Miami, with divisional offices in Dallas and Wilmington, N.C.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 209 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

OSHA's proposed penalties total $72,000.

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