Four companies cited for worker injury

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) fined four companies roughly $40,000 apiece for an accident last year while the Durant Hotel in Flint was being demolished.

A worker fell 80 feet from a window during the September demolition. The man suffered only minor injuries, an outcome Department of Labor and Economic Growth Deputy Director Susan Corbin called “nothing short of miraculous.”

On multi-employer work sites, every employer shares responsibility for the safety of all workers.

MIOSHA found that Buckeye Construction of Caledonia, William Keenoy Masonry of Lansing, Prater Development of East Lansing, and Build Tech Ltd. of Lansing contributed to fall hazards at the site.

The contractors failed to guard floor holes and window openings as required by MIOSHA standards.

The federal OSHA reported a 39% increase in fatal falls in 2007 in the construction industry, which continues to have the highest fatality rate in the private sector.

MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski noted that by November 2008, 10 Michigan workers were killed in falls, despite the “Fall Protection” campaign the agency initiated last spring. “The falls must stop,” Kalinowski said.