OSHA Fines Construction Companies

OSHA levied $227,500 in fines against two construction companies\r\nfor 22 alleged safety violations at a bridge work site where three\r\nironworkers fell to their deaths.

OSHA levied $227,500 in fines against two construction companies for 22 alleged safety violations at a bridge work site where three ironworkers fell to their deaths.

OSHA issued citations to Midwest Foundation Corp. and Halverson Construction for violations found in inspections conducted prior to and just after the April 24 accident at the McClugage Bridge in Peoria, Ill.

The workers were resurfacing the bridge when a suspended scaffold tore free and they plunged into the Illinois River.

The victims were among about 30 ironworkers working on an eight-month, $26 million reconstruction of the twin-span bridge.

Peggy Zweber, OSHA''s Peoria-based area director, said that after construction began in March, complaints prompted two inspections prior to the accident. A third inspection was made after the accident.

OSHA found 14 serious violations, including electrical hazards, lead exposure and problems related to scaffolding. The companies were cited for eight repeat violations cited in the previous inspections.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and fines.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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