The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited Callaway Contracting Inc. of Jacksonville for 13 safety violations. According to a report from OSHA, it opened an inspection in May following the death of a worker who was electrocuted while unloading steel from a tractor trailer for a roadway rehabilitation project on Normandy Boulevard. The inspection also was expanded to include the company's main office on New Berlin Road.
"This fatality could have been prevented. Management knew about the hazards associated with unloading the truck near power lines, but rushed to get the truck unloaded and failed to take the proper precautions," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. (WCxKit)
Callaway, an underground utility contractor, was cited for one willful violation related to the fatality for failing to prevent the load line from contacting the energized overhead power lines. Three other willful violations involve failing to have a qualified person inspect the crane annually and exposing workers to being caught in a rotating superstructure, as well as "struck by" hazards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Eight serious violations involve failing to train employees on procedures to be followed in the event the crane makes contact with power lines, failing to conduct daily inspections of the crane prior to its use, ensuring that the crane's operating manual is readily available inside the cab, adequately training the crane operator, training and designating a signal person, and bolting the drill press to the floor. The employer was cited for exposing employees to flying chips of metal, electrical shocks and being drawn into the point-of-operation of equipment. 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.
One other-than-serious violation was cited, with no monetary penalty, for exposed electrical wires. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Proposed penalties total $208,670. Callaway has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA has placed Callaway in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in June 2010, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.