Worker Falls 29 Floors to Death; Firm Cited for Willful, Serious Violations

The alleged failure to protect its employees from safety hazards has brought Seabrook, Texas-based N SKY Construction LLC multiple citations from OSHA following a fatality at a condominium worksite in Seabrook. The company was cited for one willful, 18 serious, and two other-than-serious safety violations carrying $110,600 in proposed fines following an agency inspection which began on Aug. 22, 2007. The investigation revealed that an employee, who was sweeping floors as part of a clean-up crew, backed off an unprotected edge and fell 29 floors to his death. The company, which specializes in high-rise construction, had 37 employees, with an additional 25 contract workers, at the site.

"This employer ignored safety and health rules that could have prevented the tragic death of this employee," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas.

The willful violation is for failing to provide employees with fall protection on open-sided flooring and edges which could result in fall hazards of greater than 300 feet. In addition, OSHA cited the company for a number of serious violations, including a failure The 18 serious violations include the failure to: provide fall protection on unprotected sides and edges; provide employees with fall protection training; provide adequate and sufficient fire protection throughout the site; properly secure and store compressed fuel gas cylinders; and protect employees from live electrical parts in temporary wiring. The two other-than-serious violations are for failing to follow OSHA regulations related to recordkeeping.

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