July 23, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
Employees found to be working in unsafe conditions and operating defective cranes
JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $78,100 in penalties after an inspection at the Pass Christian, Miss., manufacturing facility for Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Inc. revealed six serious and 10 repeat safety violations.
"Operating cranes with defects and allowing employees to work on unsafe scaffolds and gangways threatens the safety of the more than 300 people employed at this plant," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson Area Office.
OSHA found serious safety violations with employees operating cranes with broken, missing and leaking parts. Inspectors determined that monthly safety inspections were not being performed. Plywood planking on the scaffolds was damaged with cracks and splits, wood timbers lacked a guardrail system and compressed gas cylinders were not secured.
The company is being cited with repeat violations that include allowing employees to work around electrical hazards and on structural beams without guard rails. Safety equipment was missing or not being maintained properly, and an employee was sighted driving a front-end loader under a load suspended by a crane. The location had been cited for similar violations in 2007.
Gulf Coast Pre-Stress has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Jackson Area Office, 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210; telephone 601-965-4606.
OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by preventing injuries, illnesses and fatalities. OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.