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OSHA News Release
Region 4

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Region 4 News Release: 06-1478-ATL (182)
Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Contact: Clyde Payne Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (601) 965-4606 (404) 562-2076

OSHA Cites Contractors Following Investigation of Two Worker Fatalities at Gulfport, Miss., Work Site

JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Dominion Marine Group, PRC Environmental and Advanced Demolition with proposed penalties totaling $85,575 following the investigation of a March 21 accident that resulted in the death of two workers.

The Dominion Marine employees were recovering barges sunk during Hurricane Katrina. One employee died from inhaling hydrogen sulfide fumes as he pumped water from a barge compartment. The second employee died during a rescue attempt.

"This tragic accident would have been prevented if the employer had tested for toxic gases and followed OSHA's confined-space regulations," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson, Miss., area director.

OSHA officials issued one willful citation with a proposed penalty of $56,000 to Dominion Marine for allowing employees to enter an area known to contain hydrogen sulfide gas without properly testing to assure the toxic-gas level was within safe limits.

The company also received five serious citations with proposed penalties of $13,600. The citations included a failure to conduct required tests before performing "hot work" in an area where flammable gas may have been present; a failure to properly secure compressed gas cylinders; and using damaged welding-gas pressure regulators.

PRC Environmental received 10 serious citations for similar violations, with proposed penalties totaling $15,675.

OSHA officials issued one serious citation to Advanced Demolition with a proposed penalty of $300.

The companies have 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The work site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Jackson area office located at 3780 Interstate Highway 55 North, Suite 210, phone (601) 965-4606.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace 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


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