Teenage worker dies at Missouri construction site
A 16-year-old laborer who was told to stand in a danger zone died after being struck by the swinging cab and boom of a crane at a Delta, Missouri work site on June 18, 2014.
An OSHA investigation found that in the accident involving Robertson Incorporated Bridge and Grading Division, the crane operator was unaware that the teen was directed to stand in an inadequately marked danger zone. The teen also was not provided required protective headgear. OSHA cited the company for 13 serious safety violations.
“This is a tragic death involving a teenager who should not have been allowed to work on the job site,” said OSHA’s Bill McDonald, who pointed out that children are legally prevented from being involved in the disassembly of heavy-duty construction machinery.
In addition to the struck-by hazard that resulted in the teen’s death, OSHA found a lack of employee hazard recognition training contributed to the fatality. The company also failed to document required inspections of the crane’s wire rope and hook.
OSHA found multiple safety violations that included worker exposure to fall hazards of nearly 7 feet from unguarded machine platforms and failure to implement procedures, such as machine guarding that protects workers from contacting operating machinery parts, exposing workers to serious amputation risks and hazards. These violations are among the most frequently cited violations by OSHA and put workers at risk for amputation and injuries. Robertson Incorporated Bridge also failed to inspect portable fire extinguishers or train employees in their use.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division also assessed civil money penalties of $11,000 for violating Hazardous Order Number 7, which prohibits minors under age 18 from operating or assisting in the operation of power-driven hoists.