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Ohio contractors cited in painter’s fatal fall


Two contractors have been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a painter fell from an unsecured balcony at a residential apartment complex and died when the balcony fell 21 feet to the concrete below and crushed him.

OSHA on Tuesday announced citations against general contractor Geis Construction of Streetsboro, Ohio, and subcontractor J.C. Jones Corp. of Peninsula, Ohio, stemming from the accident at the Cleveland apartment complex.

The date of the fatal accident was not provided by OSHA, which found that the balcony platform was unfastened and floated on wall mounts freely.

The painter had stepped out onto the third-floor balcony when it suddenly tilted, causing him to fall to the cement ground below. As he lay injured, the balcony then slid off its wall mount and landed on him, crushing him to death, according to OSHA.

OSHA accused the two contractors of failing to properly secure the balcony and failing to place required warning signs alerting workers of the danger.

The contractors are also accused of not assessing the structural integrity of the balcony.

Geis Construction was cited for one willful violation and one serious violation and was issued proposed fines of $154,696. J.C. Jones was cited for one willful and one serious violation and given proposed penalties of $31,252.

Both companies have 15 days to contest the citations.