Region 4 News Release: USDL: 00-38
Friday, Feb. 25, 2000
Contact: CLYDE PAYNE
PHONE: (601) 965-4606 ext.0
CONTRACTORS FINED $46,200 FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT AT MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY CONSTRUCTION SITE
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Mid State Construction Company, Inc. and proposed penalties totaling $29,400 following a construction accident that killed one employee. E.L. Brown, doing business as Advance Masonry, was also cited and fined $16,800 for safety and health violations at the same worksite on the Mississippi State University campus.
According to Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director, an Advance Masonry employee, Claude Spann, Jr., was working on a scaffold preparing to do stone work on the front of the David C. Swalm Chemical Engineering building when the accident occurred. A crane boom fell, striking the scaffold and fatally injuring Spann.
Following investigation of the November 22, 1999 accident, OSHA cited Mid State Construction for seven, and Advance Masonry for eight, serious safety and health violations at the construction site. Most of the cited hazards involved crane and scaffold safety. These included:
- outriggers not properly placed when using the crane;
- scaffold platforms not fully decked;
- scaffold frame components intermixed;
- defective scaffold boards;
- no standard guard rails on scaffolding;
- scaffold frames not vertically plumb;
In addition, the employers failed to train workers on scaffold safety or the safe operation of a crane.
Payne said, "Our investigation determined that an employee of Advance Masonry was operating Mid State's crane at the time of the accident. The crane operator overloaded the crane while extending the boom of the crane without placing the outriggers. This resulted in the crane falling toward the building and striking the scaffold."
OSHA defines a serious violation as 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.
Mid State Construction Company, Inc. employs a total of 66 workers; Advance Masonry employs 16 employees. Each company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspections of the worksite were conducted by OSHA's area office located at 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210, Jackson, Miss. 39211-6323; telephone: (601) 965-4606.
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