Dec. 28, 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 $56,900 in penalties against Berryhill Tower Services of Comfort, Texas, for four violations of federal safety rules.
In July, an employee was fatally struck by a tower component during construction of a communications tower in Pinola, Miss. OSHA inspectors issued one willful violation with a $49,000 penalty against the company for allowing materials to be raised using improper rigging equipment.
"This company's primary business is working on these sorts of towers, but they knowingly used equipment that the manufacturer never intended for rigging purposes," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson Area Office.
The company was also cited for two serious violations with a proposed penalty of $6,400 for failing to adequately train its employees in handling rigging equipment and failing to train employees in the recognition and prevention of fall hazards. An "other-than-serious" violation with a $1,500 penalty was proposed against the company for not notifying the nearest OSHA office within the required eight hours of the employee's death.
The company 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 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 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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