Separate incidents of equipment failure caused two construction-worker fatalities in Ohio and Colorado, prompting probes and fines by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is looking into a July 26 scaffold collapse that killed one cement mason and injured two others at a site near Denver.

The trio, employed by B-W Masonry Inc., a Denver subcontractor, were on a scaffold 30 ft in the air when it collapsed. Support planks that broke away may have been to blame, says a firm spokesman.

In Defiance, Ohio, Advantage Powder Coating received a proposed $159,600 OSHA fine for 15 safety violations linked to the Jan. 24 death of Alex Bevins, 21. The pedestal- grinder operator died when the abrasive wheel of his machine exploded and struck him.

The firm faces violations for improperly adjusted pedestal-grinder safety guards and work rests. “Employers have a responsibility to protect the safety of their workers, and that includes having proper machine guards installed,” said Michael Connors, OSHA's regional director in Chicago.