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OSHA News Release – Region 9
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 9 News Release: USDL-50
April 21, 1999
Contact: Leonard Limtiaco
PHONE : 775-885-6967 (U.S.)
GUAM CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS CITED FOLLOWING WORKER DEATH
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a willful violation against the prime contractor at the $40 million Micronesia Mall Expansion Project in Dededo, Guam, following an investigation into the October 29, 1998 death of a subcontractor's employee.
OSHA issued a willful violation with a $70,000 penalty to Dillingham Construction Pacific Basin, headquartered in Tamuning. The violation is for the failure to adequately support precast concrete members until permanent connections were in place. The worker was employed by Circle A, an excavation subcontractor for Dillingham on the project. OSHA issued a serious violation against Circle A and fined the subcontractor $3,000 for its role in the fatality.
"This unfortunate accident could have easily been prevented by complying with OSHA's standards for supporting precast concrete," said Leonard Limtiaco, OSHA enforcement director. "These standards are well known and used throughout the precast concrete erection industry." Limtiaco said that being struck by the collapsing structural members of a building is one of the leading causes of fatalities in the construction industry.
According to the OSHA investigation, employee Kenneth W. Gouge, 37, a grading supervisor for Circle A, died after he was crushed by precast concrete that collapsed from the second level of the Micronesia Mall Expansion Project.
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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