OSHA Cites Boston Employer in Window Washer’s Fatal 29-Story Fall

May 10, 2024

Federal workplace safety investigators are alleging that an East Boston window cleaning company’s failure to inspect and replace damaged or defective equipment contributed to an employee’s fatal 29-story fall from a building in downtown Boston’s financial district in October 2023.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it found that Sky Safety Inc. willfully exposed employees to fall hazards by not ensuring personal fall protection systems and a rope descent system workers used were in proper working condition at the 100 Summer Street work site.

Specifically, OSHA alleges that the company had not adequately inspected the rope and equipment for damage and other deterioration and did not remove defective components from service before each work shift and replace them.

OSHA said its investigation also determined that Sky Safety failed to adequately train employees on how to inspect ropes for maximum allowable wear, to recognize defects and conditions that warrant removal from service and on proper use of the rope descent system. The ropes used in the rope descent systems were not effectively padded or otherwise protected to prevent them from being cut or weakened.

OSHA cited Sky Safety for eight violations and proposed $447,087 in penalties, an amount set by federal statute.

OSHA said it cited Hi-Rise Inc. — Sky Safety’s predecessor company — for exposing workers to similar fall-related and equipment hazards in May 2019 and in December 2013 at Boston work sites.

Sky Safety provides exterior and interior building commercial cleaning services.

Sky Safety has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

Topics Commercial Lines Workers' Compensation Business Insurance

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