Worker Sues, OSHA Fines over $144k as Florida Construction Accident Develops

Orlando, FL- A coworker of two men who fell to their deaths at a hotel construction site near Walt Disney World’s Epcot last year has sued Marriott and others in Orange Circuit Court, saying the companies acted with “gross negligence” by not providing sufficient safeguards for workers. The incident left Brown shaken, leading to his taking medication for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, and suing for $15,000 in damages.

A scaffold 80 feet up supporting the men collapsed on Aug. 29, 2018, under the weight of concrete being poured during the 16-story hotel’s construction. The hotel remains on schedule to open early next year, according to Marriott’s website.

In March, OSHA found that the accident occurred after supports collapsed while workers were pouring concrete on the seventh floor of the hotel structure. OSHA said that PCL and Universal Engineering did not inspect formwork, shoring, working decks and scaffolds to ensure compliance with formwork drawings and that PCL did not make sure the formwork brace was able to support vertical and lateral loads.

OSHA fined both PCL and Universal in connection with the accident but ended up withdrawing the citations and fines issued to Universal a few weeks later. PCL is contesting the three OSHA violations — two serious and one willful— and the $144,532 in fines.

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Lockout Mistake Electrocutes Florida Worker

Auburndale, FL – A worker was electrocuted this week as a the result of a lockout mistake while attempting to fix a conveyor at Florida Caribbean Distillers.

Aaron Rowe, 33 years old, was reportedly attempting to fix a conveyor belt and had appeared to turn off the power. However, investigation has revealed that a wire connected to the motor was energized and the lockout/tagout system used to cut off power had been affixed to the wrong circuit breaker.

Lockout/Tagout refers to a system of that safety measures designed to properly shutdown machinery and ensure that those machines will not start up again during maintenance or servicing work. OSHA requires that each piece of equipment must have specific lockout procedures written just for it. The lockout procedurelockout mistakes provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source feeding that piece of equipment, which helps to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

OSHA requires that lockout programs be audited periodically, and on an annual basis at minimum. A lockout audit requires a review of equipment or machine specific lockout procedures to confirm that each procedure accurately reflects the equipment’s energy sources and to identify any deficiencies. Regular lockout audits and evaluations ensure both compliance and a safe work environment.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports that Rowe was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital about an hour after being shocked. OSHA is investigating the incident.

Florida Caribbean Distillers produces rums, whiskeys and fruit liqueurs.

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Machine Accident Kills Worker in Florida Recycling Plant

Winter Garden, FL – A worker was crushed to death in a recycling compactor accident this week at the Robert Wallick Associates, Inc., located in Winter Garden, FL.

Employee David P. Rossman, 43, was killed Monday when he was cru
shed to death in the compactor at Robert Wallick Associates, Inc – a recycling facility near Orlando. Rossman attempted to clear a jam in a massive cardboard compactor and bundling machine, and then fell into the machine.

He was sorting cardboard using a baler machine when he “somehow ended up inside and got compacted in a stack of cardboard,” said Winter Garden Police Lt. Scott Allen. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.

Fire crews were called to the business at 8:52 a.m. and finally got to the man about 15 minutes later, a spokeswoman said. The cardboard compactor, whicmachine accidenth was running when the man was found, is at least 12 feet tall, with a 6-foot platform and a ladder needed to reach the top. Police Lt. Allen said there were several other employees working at the time, but none saw the accident.

OSHA will determine if the business was following the appropriate safety measures, and Winter Garden police are investigating this death as an accident.

The recycling center “buys, prepares and ships numerous recyclables to users worldwide.”

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