OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 03-974-ATL (04-002)
Tues., Jan. 6, 2004
Contact: Clyde Payne Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (601) 965-4606 ext 0 (404) 562-2076
Agency proposes more than $42,000 in penalties for exposing workers to safety hazards
JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued 11 serious citations to LeTourneau, Inc., for exposing workers to hazards following the investigation of a fatal accident that occurred July 28 at the company's Vicksburg facility. The citations carry proposed penalties totaling $42,500.
On the day of the accident, company employees were building a truss for an oil rig-housing unit. The housing unit was part of an offshore oil-drilling platform being built at the plant. A 10-foot-high truss supported the unit. As a crane lowered the truss, a chain sling slid to one side, causing it to strike one of several unsecured I-beams being used in the construction of the housing unit. In a domino effect, the struck I-beam toppled other I-beams, crushing the supervisor between the first two that fell.
"If this employer had taken the time to plan the work, analyze the possible hazards and prepare accordingly, this fatality could have been prevented," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director. "So-called 'struck-by' accidents are now the leading cause of worker deaths in the Southeast."
In fiscal year 2003 (Oct. 1, 2002 - Sept. 30, 2003) OSHA's southeastern region investigated 102 "struck-by" fatalities.
OSHA cited the company for failing to: conduct hazard assessments before beginning the lift; train employees in proper hook-up, anchoring and tie-off procedures; assure that loads were safely rigged before being hoisted; assure that employees used fall protection equipment at all times when working 50 feet above the ground; secure I-beams; and properly maintain a crane's remote control.
The company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Jackson area office located at 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210, and phone: (601) 965-4606.
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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.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. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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