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OSHA News Release – Region 4
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 4 News Release ATL: 02-241
Thurs., Dec. 12, 2002
Contact: Jo Anne Burgoyne
OSHA Proposes $43,000 for Illinois Dredging Company
Jacksonville, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., for failing to protect workers from serious electrical hazards at a dredging and beach replenishment project south of Vilano Beach, Fla. The citations carry proposed penalties totaling $43,000.
OSHA began an inspection of the worksite July 2, after notification from St. Johns County Sheriff Department officials that two company employees had received severe electrical shocks at the site where sand was being pumped from the ocean bottom up to the eroded beach. The first worker, using wet gloves during a welding operation, was injured June 17; the second worker was injured July 1 and sustained deep electrical burns to his right arm. Both employees were hospitalized as a result of their injuries.
"Using electrical equipment without grounding protection is often fatal," said James. D. Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville area director. "These workers are fortunate to be alive. The long, painful months of recovery they will have to endure could have been avoided if the employer had taken the proper precautions to protect them."
OSHA issued ten serious citations to the Oak Brook, Ill-based firm for failure to provide employees with proper personal protective equipment while working with energized welding cables and electrode holders; failing to properly ground temporary electrical wiring and allowing employees to operate hand-held electrical tools with missing grounding prongs. The agency also cited the company's failure to repair or replace damaged portable ladders and guardrails around an elevated work area.
A serious citation is issued when 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 to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Staff from the OSHA Jacksonville office located in the Ribault Building, Room 227, 1851 Executive Center Dr. conducted the inspection; phone: (904) 232-2895.
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