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Region 4 News Release: USDL: 99-29
Thursday, February 25, 1999
Contact: Dan Fuqua Lorette Dempsey
PHONE :404/562-2078 404/562-2076
OSHA PROPOSES PENALTIES TOTALING MORE THAN $82,000
FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT AT IUKA WORK SITE
The U.S.Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited Master Craft Builders, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $82,100, for violations that led to a fatal accident at a work site in Iuka, Mississippi.
According to Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director, an employee fell 25 feet to his death on Aug. 29, 1998. The victim was one of five workers who had climbed on top of a load of roofing material being lifted to a roof edge by a forklift truck. The employee missed the roof as he jumped off the forklift and fell to the concrete floor below.
OSHA's inspection of the accident led to two citations against Master Craft Builders for willful safety violations. A penalty of $63,000 was proposed for one willful citation for failure to use scaffolds, safety lines, safety nets or other protective devices to protect workers from falls at heights greater than six feet. The second willful citation, issued because employees were not wearing hard hats, drew an additional penalty of $10,000.
OSHA also cited the contractor for two serious safety violations -- no fall protection on the forks of a forklift and no fall hazard training. Total penalties for the two were $9,100.
"We issue a willful citation when an employer knowingly puts employees in harm's way by disregarding well-recognized safety practices," said Payne. "Workers at the Iuka job site were involved in structural steel construction at heights of as much as 38 feet. Yet, there was an overall lack of enforcement of any fall protection."
Payne continued, "There is no excuse for this employer's failure to implement its own written safety program which requires use of hard hats to protect workers from overhead hazards. As further proof of the company's awareness of safety regulations requiring hard hats, OSHA issued citations on March 5, 1997 for this same violation."
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 occurs when 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.
Master Craft Builders 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 Jackson area office located at 3780 I-55 North, Suite 210, Jackson, Miss. 39211-6323; telephone: (601) 965-4606.
This information will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD). Telephone: (800) 927-9273.
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