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Region 4 News Release   ATL: 03-96
Wed., May 14 2003
Contact: James Borders       Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (904) 232-2895     (404)562-2076


OSHA Cites Two Contractors for Lack of Fall Protection
at Panama City Hathaway Bridge Project
Proposed Penalties Total $49,300

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two contractors, Granite Construction Company of California, Inc., and Granite-Rizzani de Echer, for failing to protect workers from fall hazards at the St. Andrews Bay Hathaway Bridge construction site where one worker fell to his death Dec. 14. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $49,300.

According to OSHA investigators, the accident occurred when workers were attaching pre-cast concrete sections to the bridge structure. A Granite Construction employee was standing on a ladder positioned against the inside wall of a segment when the ladder slipped. He fell with the ladder to the segment floor, hit his head and then rolled through a gap into the water, 60 feet below.

"Falls account for most fatalities in the construction industry," said James Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville area director. "This tragedy could have been prevented if proper fall protection had been in place."

OSHA issued eight serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $29,000 to Granite Construction Company of California. Two of the citations were directly related to the accident: failing to secure ladders properly and failing to provide employees with proper fall-arrest equipment.

Granite-Rizzani de Echer received similar citations with proposed penalties totaling $20,300.

OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Each company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The work site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Jacksonville area office located at 1851 Executive Center Dr., Suite 227; telephone: (904) 232-2895.

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.

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Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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