August 9, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $72,775 in penalties against 16 companies involved in the construction of a SeverCorr steel plant near Columbus, Miss. Inspections conducted between February and May 2007 revealed 45 safety and nine health violations.
"Building a major manufacturing facility is a complex project, and companies must constantly monitor their worksites for safety and health concerns," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's area director in Jackson.
SeverCorr received 13 serious safety and two serious health violations with proposed penalties of $24,525. The violations included an unguarded rinse water pit, not developing specific lockout procedures on equipment (to prevent accidental start-up during maintenance), and exposing employees to hazardous chemicals.
System Contracting was cited with six safety and one health violation, with proposed penalties of $15,675. Inspectors found that employees were exposed to fall hazards, unsafe electrical equipment and materials which were subject to accidental displacement. A System Contracting employee died in April 2007 after being struck by a metal pipe at the construction site.
S.A.F Building Services received five serious safety citations with proposed penalties of $6,000 for improper use of electrical connections and exposing employees to fall hazards.
Inspectors cited Scheuck Steel with four serious safety violations and penalties totaling $5,325 after finding that employees were exposed to fall hazards. A Scheuck Steel employee died at the site in 2006 after being struck by a material handler forklift.
OSHA proposed penalties totaling $21,250 against the 12 other companies for additional alleged safety and health violations.
The companies have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's office in Jackson, 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210; telephone (601) 965-4606.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure 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.
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