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Judge vacates serious safety citation for elevator injury

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An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission vacated a violation stemming from an incident in Columbus, Ohio, in which an employee working at the bottom of an elevator shaft was hit with a concrete block that fell 14 stories.

The judge in Secretary of Labor v. Lang Masonry Contractors Inc. determined that the masonry company was not aware that work was being performed on the 14th floor – as stated in the violation stemming from the September 2016 incident.

The worker had been wearing a helmet but suffered injuries to his spine, according to commission documents. As a result of the incident, Lang Masonry was cited for a serious violation “for failing to establish a limited access zone prior to the construction of a masonry wall” and assessed a proposed penalty of $7,857.

Commission documents chronicled mishaps in communication at the worksite, indicating that Lang management was unaware of the lapse in safety.

“The court agrees the secretary failed to prove Lang had either actual or constructive knowledge of the violative conduct,” the ruling stated. “For this reason, the court vacates the cited item and assesses no penalty.”

The administrative law judge’s decision became a final order of the commission Monday.

The company’s attorney could not be reached for comment.