US Labor Department's OSHA cites two Wisconsin companies following
worker's death on US Route 41 bridge construction site near Oshkosh
OSHKOSH, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lunda Construction Inc. in Black River Falls and Choice Construction Cos. Inc. in Menomonee Falls with a total of 10 safety citations after a truck driver was killed and another worker seriously injured.
The July 5 incident occurred when a crane collapsed at a bridge construction site on U.S. Route 41 over Lake Butte des Morts near Oshkosh. A truck driver, employed by Spancrete, died when he was struck by the boom of a crane that overturned while bridge girders were being erected with a multiple crane lift. Spancrete was not cited as a result of the investigation.
A Lunda Construction employee who was operating the crane was seriously injured when he was thrown from the cab as the crane fell. Lunda Construction is being cited for one willful and five serious violations. The willful violation is for failing to comply with crane operator standards by designating a lift director and conducting multiple crane-lift planning meetings. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The five serious Lunda Construction violations include allowing a crane to travel with a suspended load; failing to train competent and qualified persons on their respective roles; adequately attach the crane to the barge; use appropriate signaling methods suitable for the site conditions; and meet the requirements of the critical lift plan. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Choice Construction was contracted by Lunda Construction to provide manpower for erecting the girders and is being cited with four serious violations for failing to develop an effective safety program, conduct competent and qualified person training and comply with the provisions of the crane operating standards, including designating a competent lift director and conducting a multiple crane-lift planning meeting.
This was the third OSHA inspection for Choice Construction, which was previously cited with two other-than-serious violations.
"Employers have a responsibility to take all necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace and to ensure that workers are given the proper training to conduct required tasks, such as operating cranes and performing multiple crane lifts," said Nick Walters, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "It is tragic that one employee lost his life and another was seriously injured during this construction project."
Lunda Construction was previously cited in October for three serious violations after a worker, who was struck by a section of crane he was assembling at a construction site on Highway 41 near De Pere, was killed. The company has contested those citations. Lunda Construction has been previously inspected by OSHA five times since 2009, resulting in the issuance of five violations.
OSHA has placed Lunda Construction in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4503.
The citations for Lunda Construction can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/lunda-504978-1227-12.pdf.*
Citations for Choice Construction can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/choiceconstruction-558121-1227.pdf.*
Proposed penalties for Lunda Construction total $105,000, and total $13,220 for Choice Construction. Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Appleton Area Office at 920-734-4521.
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 ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7830 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.