Allstate Steel Corp. of Pittsfield, N.H., doing business as TMS Erectors, has been cited by OSHA for numerous safety and health violations at two school construction sites in Malden, Mass.
The agency is proposing a total of $91,400 in penalties for the alleged violations, which exposed the company''s employees to hazards posed by defective construction cranes.
According to Richard Fazzio, OSHA area director of Northeastern Massachusetts, in May of this year, OSHA was called on two consecutive days to two school construction sites where Allstate Steel was using cranes to erect steel.
"What we found at these sites were construction cranes in desperate need of repairs," said Fazzio. "The employees on these construction sites were being exposed to extremely hazardous situations, since neither one of those machines should have been in service. What makes the situation particularly disturbing is that this company was previously cited for defects on at least one of these cranes last year and agreed to correct the problems, but apparently failed to do so."
Fazzio noted Allstate Steel Corp. is being cited for the following alleged violations:
- failing to ensure that deficient or defective parts noted on a Grove 80 ton were repaired or replaced before continued use;
- failing to furnish the crane with an operators manual at the worksite prior to operating the crane;
- failing to ensure that defective crane rigging equipment was removed from service;
- failing to ensure clear visibility from all windows in the cab of the crane;
- failing to obtain the manufactures written approval before making modifications to the crane; and
- failing to ensure that anti-two-blocking safety device was operational on the crane.
Fazzio stressed that the use of unsafe cranes on construction sites is extremely dangerous because of the possibility that, during a lift, a heavy load of steel or other material could come crashing down at any moment due to the unexpected failure of the crane or one of its components.
"That this employer would continue to use these cranes on construction jobs after being informed by expert inspectors that they were unsafe is totally unacceptable," he said. "Such actions exhibit a total disregard for worker safety."
by Virginia Sutcliffe