OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited L&A Contracting Company, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $233,800 for safety violations at a Mobile job site.
According to Lana Graves, OSHA's Mobile area director, the inspection began in March 1999 on Alabama Highway 193 where L&A was building a bridge over Rabbit Creek.
While on-site, the OSHA inspector observed employees working at heights ranging from 11 to 30 feet above the water without fall protection. The compliance officer also noted that a makeshift personnel platform used to raise workers from the ground to the bridge lacked guardrails and other required provisions needed to protect them from falls. In addition, the crane being used to lift the workers was not equipped with an anti-two-block device which prevents lifted items, like the personnel platform, from being raised so high that they hit the boom of the crane. These hazards resulted in three willful citations with penalties totaling $189,000.
Eight serious violations of OSHA standards account for the remaining fines of $44,800. These addressed additional hazards associated with the crane and the fabricated personnel platform.
"L&A Contracting has been cited five times in the last nine years for serious violations of fall protection standards," said Graves. "This employer was aware that conditions at the Rabbit Creek worksite violated OSHA standards and their own company policy."
The OSHA area director added, "L&A had written fall protection and crane use policies but did not enforce them. Prior to OSHA's inspection of the jobsite, the company's safety officer conducted two separate inspections of this site and issued two memoranda to the company's managers and the jobsite superintendent which stated that employees working on the bridge and riding in the fabricated personnel platform did not have fall protection. The same memo also noted that the crane being used to lift personnel had no anti-two-block device. Yet, no attempt was made to correct these hazards."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH 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.
L&A Contracting, with 250 employees, has been involved in bridge, tunnel and elevated highway construction since 1947. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspections of the worksite were conducted by OSHA's area office located at 3737 Government Boulevard, Suite 100, Mobile, Ala. 36693-4309; telephone: (334) 441-6131.
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