OSHA seeks maximum penalty in heat related concrete finisher fatality

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

SJ&L General Contractor LLC faces $16,100 in proposed penalties—the amount set by federal statute—after Occupational Safety and Health Administrators investigators determined that the Huntsville, Ala. firm exposed a 19-member crew on a local concrete curbing job to extreme heat hazards. Amid a 107° heat index and 85 percent humidity, the July 2023 incident saw the death of a 33-year-old finisher who had exhibited signs of heat illness two hours prior to being admitted to the hospital. 

“Had the employer ensured access to shade and rest in brutal heat, this worker might not have lost their life and would have been able to end their shift safely,” says OSHA Area Office Director Joel Batiz in Birmingham, Ala. “Regardless of the season, summer or winter, employers must establish rest cycles, train workers in identifying signs and symptoms of weather exposure, ensure workers have time to acclimate to temperatures, implement and follow safety plans, and ensure those plans are monitored. If not, weather conditions can have severe—and sadly, sometimes fatal—consequences, as they did in this case.”

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