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Region 4 News Release
Release Number: 04-364-ATL (55)
Date: March 17, 2004
Contact: Roberto Sanchez     Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (205) 731-1534     (404) 562-2076


OSHA Cites Contractors Following Fatal Accident at Construction Site
Agency Proposes Penalties Totaling $67,900 For Three Companies

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited three building contractors following a Sept.16 fatal accident at a construction site in Huntsville.

On the day of the accident, workers were installing metal decking on the roof of a building under construction. Two carrying a sheet of decking were walking along a 5-inch-wide truss. No fall protection systems were in place. One worker, walking backward, stepped off the truss, falling 21 feet to the ground below.

"This accident was preventable and the results were tragic," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "The contractors knew how to prevent the fall hazards, but they did not take adequate precautions."

Kentucky Steel Erectors, LLC, of London, Ky., whose employees were installing metal decking at the site, was cited for one alleged willful violation, with a proposed penalty of $56,000. Among the alleged violations for which the citation was issued was failure to provide adequate fall protective equipment, such as body harnesses or lanyards. Additionally, the company was cited for one alleged serious violation, with a $4,000 proposed penalty, for failing to provide safe access to and exit from the roof.

OSHA also cited the general contractor, Bowen Construction Services, Inc., of Roswell, Ga., for one alleged serious violation, with a proposed penalty of $4,900, for failing to assure that workers were protected from fall hazards. As the general contractor, Bowen was responsible for overall safety at the site.

The third contractor, Brinley & Sons Commercial Interiors, Inc., Langston, Ala., was cited for one alleged serious violation, with a proposed penalty of $3,000, for improperly using a forklift to lift workers to the roof structure on a platform that was not secured.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

The companies have 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 Birmingham area office located at 2047 Canyon Rd.; phone: (205) 731-1534.

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting the health and safety of America's workers. In fiscal year 2002, the most recent year for which data have been published, there was a 6.6 percent decline in work-related fatalities in the U.S. 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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