This week, OSHA fined a Florida paving company $16,814, including the maximum penalty under the law, for failing to provide “a place of employment free from recognized hazards.”

That’s because back in May of this year, a 72-year-old employee of the paving company was run over by the paving machine he was operating on a job site in Orange City, Florida. He died on the scene.

The investigation concluded that the man was standing on the paving machine when he fell over and was caught underneath it. His fellow employees tried in vain to rescue him by using a Bobcat to try to lift the paving machine off him. It wasn’t strong enough, and the victim was pronounced dead when rescue crews arrived.

OSHA inspectors determined that the paver operator lacked proper training to use the equipment, and was allowed to stand on the equipment while it was in motion, and subsequently fell and was pulled under the paver.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if employees were trained properly on operating equipment safely,” said OSHA Jacksonville Area Office Acting Director Buddy Underwood.

The 72-year-old victim was Ulysses Tolbert of Deltona, Florida, and had three decades worth of construction experience.

Why did this happen? You would think that a construction veteran with 3 decades worth of experience would be properly trained on heavy machinery safety practices.

If you have a business or have contractors or other workers on a job site, you should make sure that they have the proper certifications and knowledge it takes to perform their jobs properly.  If an accident occurs, in most cases the liability goes back to the general contractor or builder.  Ensuring that workers are able to work safe and are competently trained is paramount.

Don’t let this happen to your company. Start a training program and keep employee records of all training certifications and classes taken.

Onsite Safety Forklift Certification Card
An example of certification cards issued by Onsite Safety

If you need assistance, Onsite Safety can provide your business with a training program and the record keeping needed to exceed OSHA standards. We also provide certification cards and other procedures to ensure that your employees have the necessary credentials to operate on a job site.

Even under perfect circumstances, accidents can still happen. Will your business be liable? Protect your company today by choosing Onsite Safety.

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