Companies fined for worker’s 36-foot fall in New Braunfels

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration have issued a citation to two companies they believe were responsible for the death of a man in March.

41-year-old Victor Echartea-Medina, of San Antonio, was unloading several five-gallon buckets of paint onto the fourth floor of the building about 11:30 a.m. while standing on a platform at the end of a large forklift. The platform became unstable and Echartea-Medina fell from the forklift. He died at the hospital.

OSHA said Jose Miguel Charles, doing business as Pirul Trim Service, and general contractor Blazer Building Incorporated, failed to provide adequate fall protection and properly training workers.

“This man’s death was heartbreaking – and totally avoidable. Falls are preventable yet they continue to be the leading killer of workers at construction sites,” said Casey Perkins, OSHA’s area director in Austin. “General contractors and subcontractors must provide safe, sturdy and approved access for employees working so high above the ground.”

Miguel Charles was fined $38,800 and Blazer Building Inc. was fined $8,400. They have 15 days to pay or appeal.

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