ELLABELL, Ga. (WSAV) – The death of a construction worker at the Hyundai Metaplant in Bryan County could have been prevented, safety investigators have determined.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), investigators found that Eastern Constructors Inc. failed to ensure workers were provided the proper equipment that protects them from falls.
“The company also exposed employees to fall hazards by not taking worn and damaged fall arrest systems out of service,” OSHA stated.
OSHA determined that Victor Javier Gamboa Cagiga was 60 feet up, walking on top of the plant’s paint building when he lost his balance and fell. A sharp edge of the structure cut his safety line, officials said.
He died at the scene.
OSHA filed citations against Eastern Constructors Inc. and proposed $160,724 in penalties. The company has also been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program to focus on enforcement efforts.
Since 2016, Eastern Constructors, Inc. has been inspected for four other worker fatalities that violated safety procedures, including fall protection.
A spokesperson for the Hyundai mega site told News 3 they’re in the process of closing out all jobs with Eastern Constructors, Inc. and expect them to be complete by December.
“In the meantime, the safety and security of everyone in our facility and at the construction site is a top priority, and we are fully committed to complying with all applicable standards, rules and regulations,” Hyundai stated.
The Louisiana-based contractor employed 13 people at the mega site, according to OSHA.