Worker suffers third-degree burns in underground fire
Severe burns to a worker have resulted in safety citations being issued to a Montana general contractor and a Wyoming contractor, according to OSHA, which is proposing $249,516 against the two companies.
On May 5, 2017, a Coleman Construction Inc. employee suffered third-degree burns when compressed oxygen inside an underground duct caused a fire. The subcontractor was cited for failing to provide mechanical ventilation or an underground air monitoring system, and failing to report the hospitalization of the burned employee in a timely manner. The company faces $189,762 in penalties.
OSHA also cited the general contractor, JTL Group, doing business as Knife River, for not ensuring that safety precautions were taken at the worksite. Proposed penalties total $59,754.
“Confined workspaces pose an immediate and substantial danger to workers,” said OSHA Area Director Arthur Hazen, in Billings. “It is vitally important that employers properly identify, test, control, and ventilate the atmosphere to ensure the safety of workers in confined spaces.”
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.