OSHA Proposes Fines Against 16 Firms Working at Miss. Steel Plant

August 13, 2007

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $72,775 in penalties against 16 companies involved in the construction of a SeverCorr steel plant near Columbus, Miss.

The violations included exposing employees to hazardous chemicals, not developing specific lockout procedures on equipment (to prevent accidental start-up during maintenance) and an unguarded rinse water pit,

OSHA inspections conducted between February and May revealed 45 safety violations and nine health violations.

“Building a major manufacturing facility is a complex project, and companies must constantly monitor their worksites for safety and health concerns,” said Clyde Payne, OSHA’s area director in Jackson.

System Contracting was cited with six safety and one health violation, with proposed penalties of $15,675. Inspectors found that employees were exposed to fall hazards, unsafe electrical equipment and materials which were subject to accidental displacement. A System Contracting employee died in April after being struck by a metal pipe at the construction site.

S.A.F Building Services received five serious safety citations with proposed penalties of $6,000 for improper use of electrical connections and exposing employees to fall hazards.

Inspectors cited Scheuck Steel with four serious safety violations and penalties totaling $5,325 after finding that employees were exposed to fall hazards. A Scheuck Steel employee died at the site in 2006 after being struck by a forklift.

OSHA proposed penalties totaling $21,250 against the 12 other companies for additional alleged safety and health violations.

The companies have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent OSHA Review Commission.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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