OSHA Cites Ala. Contractor Following Fatality at Worksite

January 31, 2006

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Titan Electric following the investigation of an August 2005 fatal accident at Duck Samford Park, Auburn, Ala. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $52,750.

“Falls are a leading cause of worker fatalities in the Southeast, and this tragic accident could have been prevented if the worker had been wearing fall protection equipment,” said Ken Atha, OSHA’s Mobile area director.

The worker was killed when he fell 40 feet from a concrete pole where he was adjusting electrical lights. OSHA’s investigation reportedly determined that safety equipment was available on site but was not being used.

OSHA issued one willful citation to the company, with a proposed penalty of $49,000, for failing to require an employee to wear fall protection equipment. The agency issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and requirements.

The company also received six serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $3,750, for hazards including failure to place ladders on stable, level surfaces; ensure that the tops of ladders were supported; provide employees with fall protection training, and properly store acetylene gas cylinders to prevent unexpected flow of highly flammable liquid acetone. Serious citations are 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 Dora, Ala.-based company has 15 days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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