OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited McInnis Corporation and proposed $277,200 in penalties after an employee drowned at a Mobile, Alabama, bridge construction site.
McInness is headquartered in Montgomery and employs 150 workers, 12 of whom were assigned to the Dog River Bridge project.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Joseph A. Dear said, "OSHA will continue to levy serious penalties against serious violators like McInnis Corporation when they put workers' lives at risk."
According to Lana Graves, OSHA's Mobile area director, one of the employees drowned on August 10, 1995 when he fell approximately 80 feet from the bridge into the river.
Following its inspection, OSHA cited McInnis for two willful violations with penalties of $126,000 for failure to provide equipment, such as life rings and a skiff, for emergency rescue of employees working over or near water. In addition, body belts were not worn by workers in an aerial lift device.
Additional penalties of $126,000 were proposed for two alleged repeat violations for failure to provide fall protection during bridge construction over water.
The remaining four serious violations drew penalties of $25,200 for defective welding cables, safety program and training deficiencies, lack of fall protection during steel erection, and allowing employees to ride the load of a crane.
"The most basic safety precautions can prevent water fatalities," said Graves. "OSHA will not hesitate to take action when employers fail to properly protect employees whose work involves being in or near water."
OSHA defines willful violations as those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
Repeat violations occur when an employer has been cited previosly for a substantially similiar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).
A serious violation involves substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
McInnis Corporation has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent OSHRC.
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