October 27, 2023
Kissimmee Meat & Produce Inc. permitted workers to use damaged ladder to get supplies
KISSIMMEE, FL – Federal workplace safety investigators have determined that the operator of a Kissimmee grocery store could have prevented a 65-year-old clerk’s fatal fall from a defective ladder by following required safety procedures.
A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the May 2023 incident at Kissimmee Meat & Produce Inc. found that the employee fell about 9 feet when a ladder rolled as they retrieved merchandise from the second tier of a storage rack in the store’s warehouse.
OSHA determined the companyviolated safety standards by doing the following:
· Allowing workers to use modified ladders, exposing them to fall hazards.
· Permitting employees to use ladders in disrepair and without conducting an inspection to identify damage and modifications that could cause employee injuries.
· Exposing workers to a 9-foot fall hazard by allowing workers to use rolling ladders without locking systems in place and training on how to use the ladder safely.
· Subjecting workers to 7-foot fall hazards when they tried to retrieve merchandise without fall protection.
· Failing to keep emergency exits clear of obstructions, such as carts, ladders, equipment and pallets.
· Storing pallets of material in front of main breaker panels.
· Exposing workers to fire hazards, by leaving fire extinguishers unmarked.
· Failing to stack boxes of merchandise safely, exposing workers to struck-by hazards.
· Failing to provide powered industrial vehicle training and certification for employees operating forklifts.
OSHA cited the employer for 11 serious violations and proposed $95,315 in penalties.