Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

OSHA calls for fines in fatal elevator accident at Tradewinds Resort

An emergency crew responds to the April accident at the Jacaranda Beach Villas, a Tradewinds property on St. Pete Beach.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

An emergency crew responds to the April accident at the Jacaranda Beach Villas, a Tradewinds property on St. Pete Beach.

ST. PETE BEACH — Two local companies face more than $80,000 in fines because of an unusual and rare fatal elevator accident at the Tradewinds Island Resort this year.

Federal investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration say both the hotel and SWS Environmental should be penalized for serious safety violations in the April 24 incident that involved Mark Allen Johnson, who was crushed to death when an elevator fell on him.

Johnson, 45, of Tampa, was an employee of SWS, which had been subcontracted to clean out the bottom of an elevator shaft at the resort's Jacaranda Beach Villas, 5600 Gulf Blvd. He was working for about 40 minutes when the elevator fell from the second floor. A second worker who was outside the shaft was not injured.

Days after the incident, fire department authorities who tried to rescue Johnson said they immediately noticed an important safety step had been missed. No one that day ensured main power to the elevator was completely off, a process referred to as "lockout/tagout."

OSHA investigators said it is the responsibility of Tradewinds and SWS to ensure safety procedures are known and followed.

The agency has proposed Tradewinds pay $23,000. It wants SWS to pay $61,000 — a figure that's higher because SWS has been cited for safety violations before.

Keith Overton, the resort's president, called the incident a tragedy and said hotel officials still aren't sure exactly what happened.

"We're working with the OSHA inspector to make sure that everything has been remedied where there are shortcomings," he said.

Johnson was not a certified elevator technician, and according to federal investigators, Tradewinds and SWS did not coordinate to make sure lockout/tagout took place.

Overton said the hotel did have written procedures for lockout/tagout, but not for each specific elevator. The hotel corrected that, he said.

"We're going to work with (OSHA) and pay the fines," Overton said. "Beyond that there's really nothing more to it."

SWS declined to comment.

The companies have until Thursday to contest the fines, which could be lowered after the different sides meet.

Johnson's family could not be reached for comment.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643. Follow @cornandpotatoes on Twitter.

OSHA calls for fines in fatal elevator accident at Tradewinds Resort 11/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 3:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  2. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  3. Tampa Bay homes values continue to rise along with sales prices

    Real Estate

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported today.

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported Thursday.
[Times file photo]
  4. Busy start has Florida Hospital Center Ice dreaming big

    Tourism

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Opening day brought 600 doctors, administrators and their families from Florida Hospital. Soon after that, the facility hosted its first junior league game and a collegiate showdown. A few weeks later, 200 kids, ages 4 to 9, participated in national Learn to Play Hockey Day.

    Alex Senushkin and his grandson, Styopa Kulshyn, 3, of Lakeland, skate at the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  5. Charlie Crist calls for national day of civility

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON – A week after a gunman opened fire on a group of Republicans, Rep. Charlie Crist this morning called for the establishment of a national day of civility, saying “the need for action could not be more urgent.”

    A note from Rep. Charlie Crist