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Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 6

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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-07-1412-DAL
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA fines four construction companies more than $119,000 following fatality at Dallas worksite

DALLAS -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations to Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc. in Houston; Okie Foundation Drilling Co. Inc. and Rent-A-Crane of Oklahoma Inc. in Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Soto Rebar Construction in Dallas following the death of an employee at a Dallas worksite. Proposed penalties total $119,550.

OSHA began its inspection on March 23 at a construction site on Corsicana Street in Dallas after an employee was electrocuted when a truck crane used to hoist reinforcing steel for foundation piers made contact with an overhead power line. The crane operator swung the boom into the power line, killing an employee of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc. and severely injuring an employee of Okie Foundation Drilling Co.

'The employer should have ensured that there was a minimum clearance of 10 feet between the crane and the energized overhead power lines,' said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. 'If OSHA's safety standards had been followed, this tragedy could have been avoided.'

OSHA has cited all four contractors for failure to maintain the minimum clearance between the crane and power lines.

OSHA also has cited Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc. with two alleged serious violations for failure to guard the swing radius of the crane and failure to train employees in how to safely operate forklift trucks. Proposed penalties for the serious violations total $79,500.

Okie Foundation Drilling Co. Inc. has been cited for three alleged serious violations, with proposed penalties totaling $26,700, for failure to guard the swing radius of the crane and drilling rig, failure to repair damaged slings to hoist materials and equipment, and failure to protect employees from fall hazards.

Rent-A-Crane of Oklahoma Inc., owner and operator of the crane, has been cited with six alleged serious violations, including failure to guard the swing radius of the crane, and failure to maintain and operate the crane in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and industry standards. OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $11,250.

Soto Rebar Construction, a structural steel and pre-cast concrete contractor, has been cited for one alleged serious citation, with proposed penalties of $2,100, for failure to maintain the minimum clearance between the crane and overhead power lines.

The employers have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Dallas, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health can contact OSHA's Dallas Area Office at (214) 320-2400. A toll-free hotline, (800) 321-6742, may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers.


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