Image: Thinkstock
Ehstoday 2071 Watertower

Two Worker Lives Could Have Been Saved by Fall Protection

April 27, 2015
OSHA said the October death of two commercial painters could have been prevented.

A scaffolding collapse in southern Ohio left two workers dead and two families in mourning.

The two deaths, OSHA said, were preventable.

Florjan Nilaj, 25, and Gazmend Vukaj, 40, had traveled 260 miles to Oxford, Ohio from their home in Michigan to paint a 123-foot-tall water tower for V & T Painting LLC.

They were working on an electric two-point scaffold on Oct. 24, 2014, when the scaffold’s hoist failed and the nylon suspension rope broke, causing the scaffold to collapse.

In its investigation, OSHA determined that the two deaths could have been prevented had V & T Painting provided the workers with personal safety gear.

"Two families are devastated by this preventable tragedy. No one should have to suffer such a painful loss. Making sure protective equipment is in use and working properly is a common-sense way to save lives and prevent injuries," said Ken Montgomery, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati.

"Companies that put their workers dangerously high above the ground must provide protection to stop their falls. We are seeing a disturbing trend in deaths and injuries among workers on communications and other types of towers that could have been prevented."

OSHA identified 17 serious safety violations at the Oxford site and another 13 serious violations at a site in Hamilton, Ohio, where the company was painting water towers for the Southwest Ohio Regional Water District.

OSHA assessed $199,000 in penalties for the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Free Webinar: Mining & ESG: The Sustainability Mandate

March 28, 2024
Participants in this webinar will understand the business drivers and challenges of ESG and sustainability performance, the 5 steps of the ESG and sustainability cycle, and prioritized...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!