CLEVELAND (WJW) – A painting contractor died after investigators say he fell from a third-floor balcony while working in Cleveland last year.
Now, two construction companies face fines for the incident.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the 51-year-old painter went out onto the balcony of a city apartment complex on 93rd Street back in September 2022.
Investigators with OSHA say the balcony suddenly tilted, causing the worker to fall 21 feet onto the concrete. The balcony then slid off its wall mount and landed on the contractor, investigators say.
The painter died from his injuries.
According to OSHA, the balcony was unsecured and no signs were in place to warn workers of dangerous conditions. Investigators say the platform wasn’t fastened and freely floated on the mount walls.
OSHA also accuses the general contractor, Geis Construction of Streetsboro, and the subcontractor, J.C. Jones Corp. of Peninsula, of not assessing the balcony’s structural integrity.
“Hazard warning signs must be displayed and balconies, exits and high-level platforms must be blocked when practical during construction to prevent anyone from using them and falling from heights or into active construction zones,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts. “When multiple employers have workers onsite, the general contractor is responsible for making sure that all companies on the project work safely and follow federal and industry-recognized standards to protect employees.”
Geis Construction was cited for one willful violation and one serious violation. OSHA proposed a $154,696 fine.
J.C. Jones Corp. was also cited for one willful violation and one serious violation. OSHA proposed a $31,252 fine.