A construction worker fatality at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro, Ga. has resulted in five safety violations against Smiley Plaster Co. The company faces $57,000 in penalties.
The 42-year-old worker fell approximately 19 feet off scaffolding to his death while applying stucco to a pre-existing building that was being renovated as a college dormitory. OSHA’s investigation into the Sept. 20, 2013 fatality found that the company failed to provide fall protection to employees who work from scaffolding at heights over 10 feet .
Due to the willful violation stemming from that hazard, the company has been put into OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses resources on inspecting employers that have demonstrated indifference to their legal obligations by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.
Three serious violations were cited for the employer failing to provide adequate scaffolding foundation; failing to brace the scaffolding; and failing to provide debris protection, such as toe boards, for employees working on scaffolding.
The stucco and masonry construction company was also cited with one other-than-serious violation for failing to report the fatality within eight hours of the incident.
In 2012, there were 269 fall-related fatalities out of the 775 construction-related fatalities. OSHA's fall prevention campaign provides employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. The campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.