OSHA Fines 4 Bears Bridge Contractors $74,700

May 6, 2005

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited J.D. Steel Company Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., and FRU-CON Construction Corporation, Ballwin, Mo., and proposed penalties totaling $74,700 for safety and health violations on the 4 Bears Bridge Construction Project.

One worker was killed and three others were injured Nov. 30, 2004, when a re-bar column almost 70 feet in height collapsed and fell into Lake Sakakawea of the Missouri River System.

“The violations resulted because the employer failed to follow basic safety and health requirements for employees working on the 4 Bears Bridge site.” said Bruce Beelman, Bismarck OSHA area director.

OSHA cited J.D. Steel for four alleged serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $25,200. Alleged violations include failure to provide adequate hazard recognition training, failure to provide prompt medical attention, failure to provide procedures and plans for re-bar installation and failure to adequately support a re-bar column for construction of a concrete bridge pier.

FRU-CON Construction was cited for nine alleged serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $49,500 for failure to provide: adequate hazard recognition training; prompt medical attention; adequate power tool guards; flexible cord strain relief, insulation, and splices; labeled electrical means of disconnect; adequate guard rail protection; procedures and plans for re-bar installation; adequate support of a re-bar column for construction of a concrete bridge pier, and lockout/tag out procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and repair.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The investigation was conducted by OSHA’s Bismarck area office. J.D. Steel Company Inc. and FRU-CON Construction Corporation have 15 working days from the receipt of the citations 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.

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