Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-104
Date: June 26, 2001
Contact: Gail Davis
PHONE: (334) 441-6131 ext.0
OSHA CITES CELL PHONE TOWER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY FOLLOWING ACCIDENT AT ROBERTSDALE, ALA., SITE; PROPOSES $70,700 PENALTY
ROBERTSDALE, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Doty Moore Tower Services, Inc., for serious and willful safety violations and proposed $70,700 in penalties following investigation of an accident at a Robertsdale, Ala., communication tower construction site.
The accident occurred Jan. 23, as nine company employees were erecting a 1,950-foot tower. During construction, one employee and a guy wire were being lifted to the tower at the same time when the guy wire began to swing back and forth. The employee's left hand was crushed when it was caught between the guy wire and the partially completed tower.
"Hoisting an employee and a load -in this instance a tower guy wire- at the same time is a prohibited practice," said Lana Graves, OSHA's Mobile area director. "Tower erection is a fast-paced industry, but speed must never override safety."
OSHA issued a willful citation with a proposed penalty of $56,000 for allowing an employee and a guy wire to be hoisted to the tower at the same time and for using a hoist with a broken anti-two-blocking device - equipment that prevents cables from being pulled too close to the hoisting block.
"A willful citation was issued, because the employer made the decision to lift the employee and the guy wire to the tower at the same time," Graves said. "The employer was aware of lifting hazards and OSHA's requirements, and had recently sent management personnel to an industry safe practices training course which focused on these particular hazards. A written company policy prohibited this practice."
The company also received three serious citations with penalties totaling $14,700 for failing to:
-conduct pre-lift meetings;
-test the personnel platform prior to lifting, and post load limits;
-equip the platform with guard rails and grab rails.
Texas-based Doty Moore Tower Services Inc., which employs 200 workers nationwide, has 15 working days from receipt of OSHA's citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection of the accident site was conducted by OSHA's area office located at 3737 Government Blvd., Suite 100, Mobile, Ala., 36693-4309; phone: (334) 441-6131.