Dec. 12, 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 penalties totaling $95,725 against four contractors working on the construction of the St. Louis Bay Bridge.
The investigation began in June after two employees from two different companies died and another seven were injured when a concrete column collapsed into St. Louis Bay.
"This collapse was preventable. Better construction engineering and management could have prevented this tragedy," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's area office in Jackson.
Granite Archer Western, a joint venture that acted as the lead contractor, has been cited with one willful violation carrying a $70,000 proposed penalty for failing to correctly design, fabricate, erect, brace and maintain the formwork. Inspectors determined that the formwork was incapable of supporting the lateral load of the wet concrete. The company also has been cited with four serious violations and $8,500 in proposed penalties, as well as for two other-than-serious violations.
The other contractors cited are HNTB Corp., with two serious violations carrying proposed penalties of $8,425; URS Corp., for one serious violation with a $6,300 proposed penalty; and D.T. Reed Steel Co., for two serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $2,500.
The companies have 15 working 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.
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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor 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.