Florida paver operator wasn't properly trained before fatal accident, OSHA says

Company cited for safety violations

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

ORANGE CITY, Fla. - A Florida company is facing thousands of dollars in fines for failing to properly train an employee who died after being crushed by an asphalt paving machine he was operating, officials said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Pavemax Corp. for safety violations in connection with the May 1 accident in Orange City that left 72-year-old Ulysses Tolbert dead.

Orange City Police Department officials said at the time of the accident Tolbert was working at the future site of a medical complex on Harley Strickland Boulevard, moving the asphalt paving machine from one area of the parking lot to another when he fell off the machinery and became pinned underneath it.

OSHA officials said Tolbert was standing on the equipment at the time of the accident, even though the manufacturer's operator instruction manual requires that anyone on the Leeboy 8515B sits down while it is in motion.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if employees were trained properly on operating equipment safely,” said OSHA Jacksonville Area Office Acting Director Buddy Underwood.

OSHA issued the company a two-part citation for failing to provide proper employee training, which in turn created an unsafe work environment. The citation includes $16,814 in fines.

The company has 15 days to pay the fine, request a conference with OSHA or contest the citation.

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