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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-03-14
Weds., Feb. 5, 2003
Contact: Charles Shields
Phone: (630) 896-8700
of Power Lines Leads to OSHA Fines
Contractor for Guardian Pipeline Project in Illinois and Wisconsin Fined $150,000
DALLAS -- Despite years of experience in excavating for pipelines near overhead power lines, Dallas based H.C. Price Co. failed to follow federal safety guidelines for protecting workers, according to citations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Proposed penalties total $150,000.
"Safety standards are clear about how work around power lines should be conducted," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "There is no excuse for ignoring these regulations."
OSHA Area Director Charles Shields, North Aurora, Ill., said that OSHA opened an investigation into work being performed by the company on Oct. 1 after receiving information that a worker was paralyzed after contacting a power line, and that one month later another worker received an electrical shock, both at locations on Derby Line Road near Genoa, Ill.
"This company has been inspected by OSHA for various accidents five times over the past decade, including a 1994 case in which four workers in Florida were hospitalized following a crane contacting overhead power lines," Shields said.
OSHA's investigation found that H.C. Price Co. employees were unloading materials for use on the Guardian Pipeline Project when the truck boom came in contact with a power line causing one worker to receive an electrical shock. The incident became the fifth known power line contact since the inception of the project in May 2002.
H.C. Price was fined specifically for crane and excavator operation too close to power lines, and for issues involving fall protection, training and maintaining effective accident prevention programs.
The Guardian Pipeline is a 142-mile natural gas pipeline from Joliet, Ill. to Ixonia, Wis.
The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.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) 693-7773 or TTY (202)693-7755.
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