Two Contractors Cited in Florida Double Fatality Case

The OSHA citations against PCL Construction Services, Inc. and Universal Engineering Sciences, Inc. say their use of the bolts and brackets and not the approved shoring towers created a collapse hazard on the seventh floor of a hotel under construction in Orlando last year.

OSHA recently cited two Orlando, Fla., contractors – PCL Construction Services Inc. and Universal Engineering Sciences, Inc. – for safety violations after two employees suffered fatal injuries last year at a work site for a new JW Marriott Hotel in Orlando. The victims were identified as Lorenzo Zavala, 34, and Jerry Bell, 46. They were pouring concrete Aug. 29, 2018, on the seventh floor of the new hotel when the scaffold support structure collapsed.

Both men fell about 80 feet and died at the scene. A third worker hung on and climbed to safety with minor injuries, the Orlando Weekly reported.

OSHA conducted its inspection on the day of the incident. It has cited PCL Construction Services, alleging the company committed two serious violations by failing to have drawings or plans for formwork, working decks, and scaffolds available at the job site and for failing to inspect the showing equipment prior to erection to ensure it met the requirements specified in the formwork drawings or to perform adequate inspections to recognize and correct the use of bolts and brackets being embedded in the shear wall; as well as willful violation for not designing and setting up formwork so it would be capable of performing without failure under loads and for using bolts and brackets on the shear wall to support the formwork tables for the third through seventh floors instead of the required shoring towers. Proposed penalties against PCL Construction Services total $144,532.

OSHA's citation against Universal Engineering Sciences alleges the company committed two serious violations by failing to have drawings or plans for formwork, working decks, and scaffolds available at the job site, using outdated drawings for embedding bolts and brackets into the shear wall, not inspecting shoring equipment prior to erection, and not performing adequate inspections to recognize and correct the use of bolts and brackets being embedded in the shear wall. Total proposed penalties issued to Universal Engineering Sciences are $13,260.

The OSHA citations say use of the bolts and brackets and not the approved shoring towers created a collapse hazard on the seventh floor.

"Using specified drawings and shoring plans may have prevented these fatalities," said OSHA Tampa Area Office Director Les Grove.

OSHA announced that it also issued a hazard alert letter to Puleo's Concrete Inc. and C&C Pumping Services Inc., employers of the two deceased workers, recommending that they develop a workplace policy to follow up with the general contractor to ensure installation of shoring equipment according to the most recent drawings.

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