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Tragedy Strikes as a Worker Suffers a Fatal Fall at a Hyundai Electric Car Plant

ELLABELL, GEORGIA — In a devastating incident at a Hyundai electric car plant in Ellabell Georgia, a 34-year-old steel worker lost his life after a 60-foot fall. According to a November 2nd release, OSHA discovered severe safety lapses in the safety operations at Eastern Constructors Inc..

The Incident

The fatal accident occurred while workers from Eastern Constructors Inc. were guiding an I-beam into place on top of the plant’s paint building. The worker, walking along the upper frame, lost his balance, resulting in a fall. Unfortunately, his safety line was cut by the sharp structure and, as such, failed to arrest the fall. Despite prompt emergency response, the severity of his injuries proved fatal.

Safety Lapses Uncovered

OSHA’s investigation determined that Eastern Constructors Inc. failed to follow legally required safety procedures, specifically related to fall protection. The workers were not provided with fall arrest equipment suitable for the work conditions, exposing them to unnecessary hazards. Furthermore, the company neglected to retire worn and damaged fall arrest systems, compounding the risk.

The Punishment

In response to the identified violations, OSHA cited Eastern Constructors Inc. for one willful and one serious citation, amounting to proposed penalties totaling $160,724. Furthermore, the company was put on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. And this isn’t the first time the company has been under the spotlight for the loss of a worker. Since 2016, the company has been inspected in response to four other employee casualties.

OSHA’s Response

According to OSHA Area Director, Jessica Bookman, the severity of the incident underscores the critical importance of thorough worksite inspections. Bookman expressed, “The risks of serious and fatal injuries for people working at these heights are well-known, and no step should ever be overlooked during the process of inspecting the worksite for hazards.”

Eastern Constructors Inc. now has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).

Lessons Learned

The tragic incident at the worksite serves as a poignant reminder for safety managers across industries that strict compliance with legally required safety procedures is non-negotiable. It is pivotal to ensure that workers are provided with fall arrest equipment suitable for specific work conditions and capable of withstanding potential hazards. 

It also emphasizes the shared responsibility of ensuring every worker returns home safely, compelling us all to strive for excellence in workplace safety practices.

If you want to ensure your workers don’t suffer the same fate, take a look at our detailed talk on fall protection.