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OSHA News Release
Region 4

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Region 4 News Release: 06-650-ATL (75)
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Contact: Les Grove Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (813) 626-1177 (404) 562-2076

OSHA Cites Ft. Myers, Fla., Concrete Contractor After Fatal Accident at Cape Coral Work Site

TAMPA, Fla. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Pumpco, a Ft. Myers-based concrete pumping contractor, and proposed penalties totaling $42,800, following the electrocution of a worker-trainee at a Cape Coral, Fla. construction site.

"There are well-established safety procedures for employees working near overhead electrical power lines," said Les Grove, OSHA's Tampa area director. "This tragic accident could have been prevented if the employer had ensured that power lines were de-energized or effectively guarded and insulated, and that employees did not come within the minimum approach distance."

OSHA's investigation revealed that, on Jan. 9, the driver of a company truck and a trainee were preparing to pump concrete for the foundation of a small office building. While the driver remained in the truck, the trainee began unfolding the boom which hit a 14,400-volt overhead power line and caught fire. The driver alerted the trainee, and both workers jumped clear of the truck. However, the trainee went back, apparently to move the boom away from the power lines, and was electrocuted when he touched the truck.

OSHA issued one repeat citation against the company, with a proposed penalty of $35,000, for allowing employees to work in the vicinity of overhead power lines without de-energizing or effectively guarding and insulating the power lines. The agency issues a repeat citation when a company has been cited previously for a similar violation.

The company also received two serious citations, with proposed penalties of $7,800, for failing to develop and implement a safety program and advise employees of overhead power line hazards.

Pumpco has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Tampa area office, 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A; phone: (813) 626-1177.

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