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Citation vacated in worker’s fall from scaffold


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has vacated a citation and $53,976 in fines issued to a mechanical contractor after a worker was seriously injured in a fall from a scaffold at a job site in Point Comfort, Texas.

The commission, in a ruling published Wednesday, found the Occupational Safety and Health Administration failed to prove its case against Palacios Marine & Industrial Coating Inc.

The Port Lavaca, Texas-based company was cited after a worker fell from a scaffold in 2019 and suffered broken bones and other injuries to his legs and feet that required reconstructive surgery.

The worker had fallen through a piece of rotted wood used as a plank on a scaffold.

The review commission determined OSHA failed to meet its burden of proving various workplace safety violations stemming from the accident.

This included allegations that the company failed to provide and inspect proper personal protective equipment to employees, failed to ensure a scaffold was not defective, and failed to carry out proper inspections of a scaffold and its components.

The commission vacated all six items from the citation and all related fines that had been issued following the workplace incident.

The ruling came after a two-day trial held in November 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.