Region 9 News Release: USDL- 94
July 9, 1999
Contact: Leonard Limtiaco
PHONE: 775-885-6967 (U.S.)
GUAM CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS CITED FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT
Worker plunged 175 feet to his death
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations for willful violations against a contractor and subcontractor at the Pacific Islands Club Hotel expansion project in Tumon Bay, Tamuning, Guam, following an investigation into a fatal workplace accident in January.
OSHA issued two willful violations, which include penalties of $140,000, to Tokyu Construction Fujiki Komuten JV of Guam, the management contractor for the project. The violations include failure to lockout and tagout the controls or remove from the site a personnel hoist with known defects, and for failure to assemble and maintain the hoist safety devices according to the manufacturer's specifications. OSHA also issued two citations for serious violations against Tokyu, with total fines of $10,000, for failing to ensure that a competent person supervised installation of the hoist, and for failing to instruct employees on inspecting the hoist's safety devices.
According to OSHA inspectors, Tokyu provided the hoist for a subcontractor, the R&C Corporation, to assemble and use, but did not provide written instructions in English that would have helped the subcontractor to safely maintain it. "Tokyu's manager just gave the R&C employees verbal instructions he had translated himself from the manual, which was in Japanese," said Leonard Limtiaco, OSHA enforcement director. "There was no way for workers to review the instructions or verify that they were erecting, maintaining and using a safe hoist. Tokyu was directly at fault for not providing safety information to the subcontractor that could have prevented this tragedy,"
An R&C Corporation employee, Vivencio Untiveros, age 37, died January 9 when the hoist cage he was operating fell 175 feet to the bottom of an interior elevator pit. OSHA fined R&C Corporation a total of $75,000 for one willful and three serious violations which directly contributed to the worker's death.
OSHA issues a willful citation only in cases in which the employer knew that a condition constituted a violation or was aware that a hazardous situation existed and made no reasonable effort to correct it. OSHA issues a serious citation only when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer either knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days from the date of the notice to contest the citations.
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(212) 337-2319; TDD phone: 800-347-8029; OASAM TDD message referral phone number: 800-326-2577.