Fatal fall from bridge could have been avoided, says OSHA; contractors fined
OSHA's inspection found that employees of Imperial Iron Works, Inc., a Bronx-based steel erection contractor, were exposed to falls of 70 feet while working without fall protection on top of the anchorage house and on a catwalk that lacked required guardrails.
The resulting willful citation issued to Imperial by OSHA carries a proposed fine of $28,000 for failure to provide fall protection.
"Had proper safeguards been in place, this accident would have been avoided," said Richard Mendelson, OSHA's Manhattan area director.
Imperial was also issued five serious citations and fined an additional $8,000 for:
- unprotected openings at three ladderway access points;
- employee exposure to being struck by falling objects;
- unsecured work platforms on scaffolding;
- an ungrounded electric grinder, and
- a broken grounding pin on an extension cord.
VRH Construction Corp. of Englewood, N.J., the project's general contractor, was issued three serious citations and fined $8,000 for unprotected openings at three ladderway access points; employee exposure to being struck by falling objects, and absence of ladder cages for fixed ladders used to access catwalk work areas.
Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to either comply with them or contest them.