Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 02-63
Thurs., April 11, 2002
Contact: Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (404) 562-2076
(912) 652-4393 ext. 0
Safety Hazards Cited at Sidney Lanier Bridge;
OSHA Proposes Penalties Totaling $122,000
BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Failing to protect employees from fall hazards at the Sidney Lanier Bridge project may cost Miami-based Recchi America, Inc.-GLF Construction Corp., $122,000 in penalties according to citations issued today by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA inspectors visited the construction site Oct. 24, 2001, to verify that the company had abated safety hazards found during previous inspections, June 25, 1999 and April 3, 2000. The follow-up inspection found that the hazards cited earlier had been abated, but the company had allowed several of them to reoccur.
As a result, the joint-venture firm was issued three repeat citations with proposed penalties totaling $120,000 for failing to: provide fall protection for employees who worked near unguarded openings 180 feet above water; barricade the swing area of a crawler crane so employees could not be hit when the crane moved, and secure a crane to a barge so it could not tip over.
A repeat citation is issued when an employer has been cited previously for a similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Prior to the OSHA inspections, and unrelated to the citations and penalties issued today, two employees at the bridge site had fallen into the water, one from 30 feet, the other from 130 feet, and an unsecured crane had toppled over into the water. No fatalities resulted from these accidents.
OSHA issued one serious citation with a proposed penalty of $2,000 for failing to protect workers from the risk of impalement upon unguarded steel reinforcing bars protruding from the structure. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Board.
Both inspections were conducted by staff from the Savannah area office located at 450 Mall Boulevard, Suite J; telephone: (912) 652-4393.