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Region 4 News Release: 08-698-ATL (121)
June 3, 2008
Contact: Michael Wald
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited contractors for nine safety violations after an employee was fatally crushed when the Berkman Plaza II parking garage under construction in Jacksonville collapsed.
The citations carry a proposed $192,800 in penalties. These include a willful violation carrying a $49,500 penalty against Choate Construction, the general contractor, and two willful violations with penalties totaling $125,000 against Southern Pan Services (SPS), the concrete formwork contractor. Choate and SPS are each receiving a willful violation for failing to have a qualified person determine if the structure could support the additional three-quarters of an inch of wet concrete weight that was added to the 20-inch floor slab.
In addition, one willful violation is being proposed against SPS for failing to obtain a reshoring drawing, including all revisions, for the reshoring design method used at the site.
Choate Construction is also being cited for one serious violation with a proposed $6,300 penalty and one other-than-serious violation with a $900 penalty. SPS is receiving two serious violations resulting in $7,500 in proposed penalties.
A.A. Pittman, a concrete finishing contractor, is being cited for two other-than-serious violations and $3,600 in penalties for recordkeeping violations discovered during the inspection.
"These employers are experienced in this type of construction and know all too well that disaster can occur when engineering drawings are not adhered to, or are modified, as occurred in this tragic collapse, without the approval of a professional engineer," said James Borders, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville.
The companies have 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Jacksonville Area Office, 1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 227, telephone 904-232-2895.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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