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OSHA News Release – Region 1
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 1 04-1555-BOS /BOS 2004-179
Friday, Aug. 13, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
on Sikorsky Memorial Bridge Project
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Balfour Beatty, of Atlanta, Ga., for alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following a Feb. 17 accident in which a worker was killed when his crane tipped over and fell into the Housatonic River.
Balfour Beatty is the primary contractor on the demolition and reconstruction of the Sikorsky Memorial Bridge, which spans the Housatonic River on Route 15 between Stratford and Milford, Conn. During demolition operations on Feb. 17, two cranes were lifting a steel girder when the girder buckled. One of the cranes overturned and dropped into the water, killing its operator.
OSHA's inspection found that the cranes involved in the accident were not secured to the barges on which they sat. OSHA standards require that mobile cranes used on barges be positively secured to prevent them from rolling or falling off the barges.
The inspection also determined that on the day of the accident, no one had been designated to oversee the dismantling operation, including the positioning of the barges, the rigging for the girder that was being lifted and the movements to be made by the cranes. OSHA standards, as well as industry safety codes, require that one designated person be responsible for operations when two or more cranes are being used to lift a load.
As a result of these conditions, OSHA issued two serious citations to Balfour Beatty, with proposed fines of $14,000. Each citation carries a proposed fine of $7,000, the maximum fine allowed for a serious violation. OSHA defines a serious violation as a condition for which there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee.
Beatty Balfour has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA's Bridgeport area office conducted the inspection. Its telephone number is (203) 579-5581.
OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at
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