Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 00-87
Tuesday, May 23, 2000
Contact: Luis Santiago
PHONE: (912) 652-4393 ext.0
CONTRACTOR FINED $57,750 FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT AT TIFTON, GA., CONSTRUCTION SITE
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) today cited C&B Mechanical Contractors, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $57,750 for safety violations at a Tifton, Ga., construction site.
According to Luis R. Santiago, OSHA's Savannah area director, an employee was electrocuted on Dec. 5, 1999 when an excavator used to hoist a pipe he was helping to install came in contact with overhead power lines.
Following investigation of the accident, OSHA cited C&B for one willful and four serious safety violations, including:
- - employees not trained to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions;
- - operation of construction equipment within 10 feet of electrical power lines;
- - lack of provisions for prompt medical attention in case of serious injury;
- - failure to inspect excavations during the construction process, and
- - failure to take steps to protect open excavations from collapse
Santiago said, "Our investigation determined that C&B had willfully failed to maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet from overhead power lines. The company was fully aware of the danger because contact had been made earlier with power lines while employees were working on another area of the project."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
C&B Mechanical Contractors, which employs approximately 60 workers, has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the Tifton worksite was conducted by OSHA's area office located at 450 Mall Boulevard, Suite J., Savannah, Ga. 31406; telephone: (912) 652-4393.
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