Contractor Cited After Worker's Fatal 50-Foot Fall

An inspection conducted by OSHA's Providence Area Office found that the skylight opening lacked a guardrail or equivalent means to prevent workers from stepping on or through the skylight.

OSHA has cited Fernandes Construction of Glendale, R.I., for 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards at a construction site in Woonsocket, R.I., after an employee sustained fatal injuries from falling 50 feet through a skylight. The company faces $42,840 in proposed penalties.

"One step in the wrong location can have devastating and irreparable consequences," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's Rhode Island area director. "Falls are the leading killer in construction work, but they can be prevented with effective guarding and training. I urge all contractors in Rhode Island to examine their fall protection programs, make any necessary improvements, and ensure that their workers are properly trained to recognize and avoid fall hazards on the job."

An inspection conducted by OSHA's Providence Area Office found that the skylight opening lacked a guardrail or equivalent means to prevent workers from stepping on or through the skylight. In addition, open holes on walking/working surfaces at the site were not covered, and employees were not trained to recognize fall hazards.

Inspectors also identified violations involving a hand-fed circular saw that lacked proper guarding to protect employees, electrical components that were not covered to prevent employees from possible contact, unmarked electrical panels, and the lack of ground fault circuit interrupters.

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