OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA ISSUES SAFETY AND HEALTH CITATIONS TO BARBOURSVILLE COMPANY; PROPOSES PENALTIES TOTALING $176,150
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Turman Construction Company, of Barboursville, W. Va. for alleged violations of occupational safety and health standards, and proposed $176,150 in penalties. Turman is a bridge construction company, employing nine people at a worksite located in Elizabeth, W.Va.
The inspection was initiated in Sept. 1998 in response to a fatality, reported to the Charleston area OSHA office, after an employee fell 27 feet while in the process of erecting a temporary bridge.
According to Stanley H. Elliott, OSHA area director in Charleston, Turman was cited for four willful violations, with a proposed penalty of $131,000; 13 serious violations, with a proposed $29,050; five repeat violations, with a penalty of $16,100; and three other-than-serious violations, which carry no penalty.
The willful violations were issued because the company's designated competent person did not identify existing and predictable hazards on the site; fall protection was not provided and used when necessary; and employees were not trained adequately in areas essential to maintaining a safe work environment.
The repeat violations were issued because of the company's continued failure to comply with OSHA manbasket requirements.
The serious violations included employees working over water without a life vest; the absence of proper guarding on equipment; the design of the temporary platform, and its inability to support its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load.
The other-than-serious violations included the absence of toilet facilities and the unsafe use of electrical cords.
"Turman's unwillingness to provide these basic safeguards reflects a blatant disregard for employee safety," says Elliott, "Immediate action must be taken to prevent another senseless accident."
A willful violation occurs when a company is award of a hazard(s), but disregards it. A serious violation involves a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The firm has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either decide to comply, to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by the Charleston Area Office, 405 Capitol Street, Suite 407, Charleston, W. Va.., (304) 347-5937.
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