[Updated below (9/5/14)]
Jose Alfredo Isagirrez-Mejia, 29, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Monday, July 21 while working at a construction site in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The incident occurred on a $15 million project managed by Miller Construction Company. It’s the future site of a BMW/MINI dealership and service complex.
Local10.com reports the following about the incident:
- a ceiling roof beam “came crashing down”
- three workers were lowering the beam in place with a crane. “Something went wrong and it struck all three workers.”
The Sun-Sentinel reports:
- a carpenter who was an eye-witness to the events said a crane was lowering a joist when a support gave way and knocked the men off a ladder and scaffolding
- the incident occurred shortly before 8 a.m.
- this is the sixth work-related fatal injury death in Broward County, Florida since June 1
The news accounts don’t indicate whether Jose Alfredo Isagirrez-Mejia, 29, was employed by Miller Construction Company or one of their subcontractors.
Describing the project, the firm’s website says:
- the $15 million three-story facility will include 59 service bays and 3 alignment bays
- the firm “is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the tilt-wall construction project from its earliest stages.”
OSHA will conduct a post-fatality inspection of the construction site. If the agency’s inspectors identify violations of health safety regulations, the company will be cited.
OSHA’s on-line inspection data suggest that Miller Construction Company was subject to one OSHA inspection in the last 10 years. At a project in Boca Raton, Florida, the firm received citations in April 2007 for two serious and one other-than-serious violations. The serious violations involved inadequate fall protection and hazards in their concrete-masonry construction activities which posed a risk to workers of being impaled on protruding steel. Miller Construction and OSHA settled the case and the company paid a $3,432 penalty.
Each year, more than 200 workers in Florida are fatally injured on-the-job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 218 work-related fatalities in Florida during 2012 (most recent available data.) Nationwide, at least 4,628 workers suffer fatal traumatic injuries in 2012.
The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:
- Federal OSHA has 60 inspectors in Florida to cover more than 490,000 workplaces.
- The average penalty for a serious violation in Florida is $1,821.
Federal OSHA has until mid-January to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole Jose Alfredo Isagirrez-Mejia’s life. It’s likely they’ll determine that the safety program of Miller Construction Company and/or their subcontractors was inadequate, and that Isagirrez-Mejia’s death was preventable. It was no “accident.”
[Update 9/4/2014: OSHA records indicate the employer’s name is Structural Prestressed Industries, Inc. The company has been the subject of one scheduled OSHA inspection in each of the years 2011-2014. The inspections in 2011 and 2012 resulted in two violations (one serious, one other-than-serios) and the firm paid $3,521 in penalties.]