A construction worker we reported on last week has died from his 20-foot fall from a work site roof in St. Augustine. The 52-year-old man was on top of the St. Johns County jail building which is being expanded when he fell off last Wednesday, October 19, according to a report in The Florida Times-Union.
The man died Saturday, October 22, from his injuries at Shands Jacksonville. An investigator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) arrived on the scene soon after the accident to determine if there were any safety lapses that may have contributed to his accident. The story does not make mention of the investigation or whether any hazards may have been present.
The Florida workers’ compensation attorneys with Farah & Farah that understand OSHA is responsible for workplace safety and there is a specific protocol that construction, manufacturing, and maritime companies must follow to be in compliance. In this case, the contractor, K.P. Meiring Company of St. Augustine, must answer why there were not backup systems in place that would break a fall or give someone a chance to catch his or her fall. Citations can be issued to the employer if hazards were present and not remedied before a worker was injured.
Our firm sends its condolences to the friends and family members of this man.
The construction industry employs more than six million people in the U.S. at more than 252,000 worksites. The job accident injury rate at a construction site is higher than any other industry and can include:
- Electric shock
- Trench collapse
- Lack of protective equipment; and
- Repetitive motion.
If you believe a hazard exists at your worksite you may report it to OSHA and the agency will investigate and protect you from retaliation.