Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 99-217
Monday, December 06, 1999
Contact: Raymond Finney
PHONE: (770) 493-6644
OSHA FINES DUBLIN, GA., COMPANY FOLLOWING WORKER FALL FROM ROCKDALE COUNTY COMMUNICATION TOWER
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited C.S.S.I., a Dublin, Ga., company, for safety and health violations found at a Rockdale County worksite where one employee died as the result of a fall. The citations carry penalties totaling $18,400.
According to Raymond Finney, OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Director, a C.S.S.I. worker fell to his death from the top of a 600 foot 911 tower near Covington, Ga., which he had free-climbed to troubleshoot its strobe lights.
"Building and maintaining communication towers, the work which C.S.S.I. performs, is a high growth industry," said Finney. According to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93 fatalities associated with this type of activity were reported from 1992 to 1997.
OSHA's safety inspection in response to the fatal accident revealed three serious violations. Among the hazards cited were:
- a cage or ladder safety device was not used when employees climbed over 20 feet on the tower;
- employees did not use a safety harness and tie off with a lanyard when free-climbing the tower, and
- employees used tools that were not insulated or designed for live electrical work.
"We encourage companies to create an effective safety and health program," said Finney. "If these companies can find and fix hazards prior to an OSHA inspection, they can save expensive penalties and, more importantly, they can save lives."
Finney added, "Taking proactive measures on safety and health issues can prevent this type of accident, reduce workers' compensation costs, improve employee morale, and ultimately increase company profits."
OSHA urges employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards to contact the Tucker area office. OSHA's toll-free, nationwide hotline --1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742)-- may be used to report workplace accidents or fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, especially if they occur outside of normal business hours.
A serious violation is defined by OSHA as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA is empowered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to issue standards and rules requiring employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces and jobsites and to assure through workplace inspections that those standards are followed.
Inspections of the Rockdale County worksite were conducted by OSHA's area office located at LaVista Perimeter Office Park, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, GA 30084; telephone: (770)493-6644.
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