Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 02-111
Wed., May 29, 2002
Contact: Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (404) 562-2076
OSHA Contact: Roberto Sanchez
Phone: (205) 731-1534
Failure To Protect Workers From Fall Hazards Could Cost
Bridge Contractors $85,600
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Failing to protect workers from falls at two Alabama work sites -- Northport and Kimberly -- has resulted in citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for two bridge construction contractors, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today. Proposed penalties total $85,600.
The general contractor, Clark Construction, Inc., received $80,500 in proposed fines for 11 alleged serious and three alleged repeat violations observed during inspections conducted Jan. 24 and Feb. 14. Subcontractor WBH Construction Company, LLC was cited for three alleged serious violations with penalties totaling $5,100.
"Some workers on these sites were working from heights of up to 80 feet without proper protection," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "Falls are the most common cause of injury and death on construction sites."
For the 11 serious citations, OSHA proposed penalties totaling $40,500. Many were directly related to the lack of fall protection, including personal protective equipment. Clark Construction also lacked rescue equipment and had inadequate ladders. In addition to fall protection violations, the company was cited for using unsafe and damaged cranes, lifting personnel improperly and failing to safeguard against injuries from unprotected reinforcing steel.
The three alleged repeat violations carried an additional $40,000 in proposed fines for failing to have water rescue equipment nearby, such as a rescue boat; failure to provide life jackets for employees working near or above water; and not providing fall protection for employees working 20 feet above ground. A repeat violation occurs when a company has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation, and the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has upheld the citation.
The remaining $5,100 fine was assessed against WBH Construction for three serious violations of fall protection standards.
The companies have 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA's Birmingham area office at 2047 Canyon Rd. conducted the inspections, phone: (205) 731-1534.