Region 9 News Release: USDOL 00-156
Tuesday, Sept. 5,
Contact: John Hall
PHONE: (205) 731-1534
OSHA FINES TWO COMPANIES $82,500 AFTER FATALITY AT HUNTSVILLE CONSTRUCTION SITE
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and fined Britt Demolition & Recycling, Inc., $66,900 and Consolidated Construction Company $15,600 following a fatality at the Huntsville Utilities Building, Huntsville, Ala.
According to John Hall, OSHA's Birmingham area director, one employee was killed and another injured March 3 when sections of a brick wall collapsed and struck them. At the time of the accident, the employees had been working 40 feet above the ground removing old bricks from the side of the building. Falling debris struck them as they were being lowered in a man basket attached to a fork lift.
"Both employers were aware that the brick ties holding the wall had deteriorated," said Hall. "In fact a portion of the wall had collapsed in December at this job site. Yet, they did not provide proper protection for the workers."
Following the inspection of the facility, OSHA cited subcontractor, Britt Demolition & Recycling, with one willful violation for allowing a wall section to stand without bracing or shoring and allowing employees to use hand tools to remove portions of the wall.
Both Britt and Consolidated Construction, the job's general contractor, were cited for four serious violations:
-failure to provide protection from falling objects for employees working on platforms;
-failure to provide protection from falling objects at multi-story building entrances when demolition work was being performed;
-failure to properly train employees in the hazards of demolition work and the safe operation of a forklift, and
-failure to provide evidence that an engineering survey was done prior to the start of the demolition work.
A willful violation is one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
The two companies have 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the Huntsville Utilities Building job site was conducted by OSHA's area office located at 2047 Canyon Road, Birmingham, Ala. 35216; telephone: 205-731-1534.
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