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Three contractors face a combined $121,822 in proposed penalties after a worker at a Denver construction site fell about 65 feet from an “improperly elevated scaffold” and suffered serious injuries, and a second worker narrowly avoided a similar fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday.
The December 2021 incident involved two employees of Native Sun Materials Inc. of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which was constructing a concrete elevator and stairway core for a 44-unit residential building. OSHA investigators found that the project's general contractor – R.G. Brinkmann Co. of Aurora, Colorado – permitted the workers to ride a climbing scaffold as a crane hoisted the system upwards.
During the lifting process, the scaffold system shifted, causing one worker to fall and suffer severe head, back and leg injuries. His coworker, whose fall arrest gear left him dangling from the scaffold, was rescued and suffered minor injuries, according to OSHA.
Native Sun Materials is facing one willful citation, carrying $101,519 in penalties, for allowing employees to use equipment hoisted by a crane to reach an elevated work area. One serious citation with proposed penalties of $14,502 was issued to R.G. Brinkmann Co. for allowing workers of a subcontracted employer to use equipment to hoist workers to an elevated work area.
OSHA issued one serious citation to crane operator B&C Steel Inc., with proposed fines of $5,801 for unsafe operation of a crane.