Deadly defiance: Ocala framing contractor’s refusal to comply with safety standards continues despite fatal 2020 incident, 35 violations since 2019
TAMPA, FL – Federal workplace safety inspectors have found that an Ocala framing contractor’s history of defying required safety standards continues with their employees’ safety and lives at risk.
Since February 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has completed 11 inspections of Domingos 54 Construction Inc.’s worksites and identified four willful, eight repeat, 19 serious and four other-than-serious violations, many of them related to a lack of fall protection for workers.
OSHA’s warnings about workplace falls – a leading cause of serious injuries and deaths in the construction industry – were ignored by the company in March 2020 when a 53-year-old employee suffered a fatal, 10-foot fall from the roof of a Tampa residence, a preventable tragedy as fall protection would have likely saved his life.
OSHA inspectors observed Domingos 54 employees without fall safety gear while working atop a 15-foot-high residential roof in Tampa on Sept. 24, 2022. By law, construction employers must provide and make sure employees use fall protection when working more than 6 feet above the next lower level.
In addition to lack of fall protection equipment, OSHA learned the company still had not trained employees to make sure they had a clear understanding of the means and methods to control fall hazards, and found employees continuing to use pneumatic nail guns, hammers and portal circular saws without required eye protection.
OSHA cited the company for three willful violations and one repeat violation and proposed penalties totaling $464,079.
“In 2020, Domingos 54 Construction’s failures led to a tragedy that cost a worker his life. Yet here we are in 2023, and they continue to put profits before the safety and well-being of the people they employ,” said OSHA Area Office Director Danelle Jindra in Tampa, Florida. “This is an egregious case of an employer who knows better, but whose actions show they just don’t care. OSHA will continue to hold employers accountable for knowingly placing their employees in harm’s way.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Visit OSHA’s website for information on developing a workplace safety and health program. Employers can also contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.