November 20, 2014 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

Juan Carlos Reyes’ 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, Angel AAA Electric, LLC. The 35-year-old was working at a construction site in Harlingen, TX for a new Marriott hotel. He suffered fatal traumatic injuries in May 2014 when he fell from scaffolding while moving supplies into a fourth floor window. I wrote about the incident shortly after it was reported by local press.

Federal inspectors out of OSHA’s Corpus Christi, TX office conducted an inspection of the worksite following Reyes’ death. The agency recently issued citations to Angel AAA Electric, LLC for one willful and five serious violations and proposed a $36,400 penalty. Those violations include failing to ensure that scaffolding was erected by a qualified person and to use a fall arrest system when using a scaffold.

When the local press initially reported Juan Carlos Reyes’ 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, Juan Carlos Reyes’ work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.

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