Construction Death Highlights OSHA's Safety Concerns

A construction worker recently died after he fell several floors from a parking garage.   May 22, 2023

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

Safety concerns have long surrounded construction projects of institutional and commercial facilities, and with good reason. The annual list of top OSHA violations inevitably includes numerous problems related to construction projects, such as fall protection. For one Florida construction project, the worst-case safety scenario became reality, and the timing is particularly ironic. 

A construction worker recently died after he fell several floors from a parking garage, according to WVSN. It happened at the Bal Harbour Shops. A witness said the worker fell several floors from a parking garage and did not survive. 

The fatality accident came as OSHA turned its safety spotlight on the issue of construction falls. OSHA recently announced that it had begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections. 

The emphasis program will focus on reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities for people working at heights in all industries. The targeted enforcement program is based on historical Bureau of Labor Statistics data and OSHA enforcement history. BLS data shows that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 were associated with falls from elevations, about 13 percent of all deaths. 

The program establishes guidance for locating and inspecting fall hazards and allows OSHA compliance safety and health officers to open inspections whenever they observe someone working at heights. 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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