Jose Alfredo Isagirrez-Mejia work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of Federal OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, Structural Prestressed Industries.
The 29-year-old was working in July 2014 at one of the company’s construction sites in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The initial press reports indicated that workers were lowering a steel beam into place when it “came crashing down.” I wrote about the incident shortly after it was reported by local press.
Inspectors with federal OSHA conducted an inspection at the construction site following the fatal incident. The agency recently issued citations to the firm for two serious violations and proposed a $14,000 penalty. Structural Prestressed Industries was cited for violating safety standards related to cranes, specifically the prohibited practice of using a crane to drag or pull loads sideways (1926.1417(q)), and improper signaling procedures to communicate between the crane operator and the ground crew (1926.1419(f)). The company settled the citations with OSHA and agreed to pay a $10,500 penalty.
Structural Prestressed Industries, Inc. was the subject of OSHA inspections in 2012. The company was cited for a serious violation related to inadequate training for signaling personnel working around cranes (1926.1430(b)). OSHA proposed a $4,900 penalty, but settled with the firm. It paid a $2,450 penalty. Whatever training the company conducted following that citation was obviously not adequate or effective to save the life of Isagirrez-Mejia.
When some local press initially reported Jose Alfredo Isagirrez-Mejia’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, Isagirrez-Mejia’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.