Florida Employer Jailed for Violating Fall Standards in Worker’s Death
The former owner of a now-dissolved Florida business was sentenced to one month in jail after admitting to violating federal fall protection standards in the 2015 death of a worker.
Stalin Rene Barahona, who owned the defunct SB Framing Services Inc., was sentenced Feb. 4 in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers and began serving his sentence Feb. 26.
His plea to one count of willfully violating federal fall protection standards relates to the Sept. 26, 2015 death of the worker, Selvin Velasquez.
A residential framer, Velasquez was working for SB Framing on a new home in a luxury community in North Naples when he fell, according to an OSHA investigation.
Velasquez was working on the roof and was leaning over a rake beam to drill a hole in a concrete block when he fell 20 feet to the ground, hitting his head on a concrete slab.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Fall protection remains the top violation OSHA inspectors have found for three years in a row.
OSHA cited the company for the fall protection standard violation, and for failing to train employees to recognize potential fall hazards.
“The enforcement action demonstrates that OSHA will utilize every resource available to ensure that safety and health standards are followed to protect employees from potential risk,” OSHA region administrator Kurt Petermeyer said from Atlanta.
He noted that OSHA provides fall protection in residential construction resources that explain fall protection requirements for certain construction activities, types of fall protection systems, and safe work practices to prevent falls.
This action demonstrates OSHA’s increasing vigilance in pursuing criminal charges against safety violators, Petermeyer said.
At CBIA’s Safety and Health Conference May 1 at the Farmington Marriott, OSHA’s regional administrator in charge of criminal enforcement will further explore these activities.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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