OSHA: Fatal Taunton Aerial Lift Tip Over Was Preventable Thinkstock

OSHA: Fatal Taunton Aerial Lift Tip Over Was Preventable

Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp. allegedly ignored industry and OSHA safety standards when it placed an aerial lift on uneven ground.

Kevin Miranda’s death could have been prevented if his employer, Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp. of Taunton, had followed industry and federal safety standards, an inspection by OSHA has found.

Miranda was operating an aerial lift near Taunton’s Morton Hospital on Aug. 18, 2015. The lift’s boom was extended to a height of 45 feet when the lift tipped over, causing the operator’s basket hit the ground.

The force of the crash ejected Miranda and threw him 16 feet. He subsequently died from his injuries.

OSHA inspectors found the lift was positioned on ground that was not level, a condition that conflicted with both industry safety standards and the lift’s operator manual. In addition, Miranda's fall protection lanyard was not attached to the basket or boom. They determined his employer had not trained him to recognize this hazard, as required by OSHA standards.

“This incident and the needless death that resulted were preventable. Kevin Miranda's employer was well aware of the necessary safety requirements, yet disregarded them,” said Kenneth Shedden, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. “Safety standards exist for a good reason: to prevent incidents such as this, and the deaths and injuries that can result. Employers must know and adhere to all applicable standards. The lives and well-being of their employees depend on it.”

OSHA cited Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp. on Feb. 12 for two alleged willful violations and one alleged serious violation. Proposed fines total $102,900. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with Shedden or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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