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Wed December 01 2021

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OSHA fines Florida contractor $228k

4 Jul 14 Burgos Construction Corp faces penalties total US$228,690 (£129,300) after being cited by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration for working without fall protection.

The four willful, one repeat and two serious safety violations concern work at four sites in Lithia, Tampa, Riverview and Land O'Lakes. The company was hired to build a new apartment complex in Tampa and work on three new residences.

"Burgos Construction has been cited seven times in the past two years for not providing fall protection for its employees engaged in residential construction,” said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa. “Company officials are fully aware of the fall protection requirements. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Allowing workers exposure to a fatal fall or serious injury demonstrates the employer's lack of commitment to worker safety."

The willful violations were cited because the employer failed to provide fall protection systems to workers at each of the four sites where they installed floor joists and conducted framing and roofing work at heights from 2.75m to 8.5m. OSHA requires a fall protection system when residential activities are 1.8m greater. The willful violations carry penalties of $215,600. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

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With a US$6,160 penalty, the repeat violation was cited for allowing workers to use a ladder improperly.

The employer was also cited for serious violations, with US$6,930 in penalties, for failing to provide fall protection training for workers and for allowing employees to access a second floor stairwell that was not protected by handrails on both sides. 

Burgos Construction was established in 2012 and has been inspected by OSHA eight times within the past two years. The company has received multiple citations for repeat and serious violations of the construction standards. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

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