Fatal Accident Leads to OSHA Action Against Florida Landscaping Company

Fatal Accident Leads to OSHA Action Against Florida Landscaping Company

Bradenton-based TruScapes Industries faces $166,305 in proposed penalties.

Following a tragic accident in which a 36-year-old mower operator employed by TruScapes Industries Inc. drowned after being pinned underwater by a riding mower in a pond, the Bradenton, Florida-based company is facing OSHA citations for willful negligence.

According to a release dated January 10, the investigation—which launched on July 4, 2023—revealed that the mower's roll-over protection system was not engaged. OSHA cited TruScapes Industries for one willful violation for not using the rollover protection system and operating the mower on a slope exceeding the manufacturer's recommended limits. The company also received a citation for not providing potable drinking water, with proposed penalties totaling $166,305.

In July 2015, TruScapes Industries was the subject of an investigation involving a similar fatal accident in Bradenton. That case resulted in five serious citations and $18,200 in proposed penalties.

“Once again, TruScapes Industries’ failure to implement required safety measures has cost the life of a worker,” OSHA Area Office Director Danelle Jindra in Tampa, Florida, said in a statement. “Employers are responsible for ensuring the correct equipment is used for each change in the work environment and that workers are protected from hazards associated with assigned job tasks.”

TruScapes Industries—which employs about 150 workers—has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA or contest the agency’s findings.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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