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US Labor Dept. cites Kissimmee grocery store for not preventing 65-year-old worker’s fatal fall

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.


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