OSHA Cites Five Contractors Following Worker Fatalities at a U-Miss Construction Site

OSHA has cited five contractors for allegedly exposing workers to safety hazards at a University of Mississippi construction site. The agency has proposed penalties totaling $152,250 following its investigation of a fatal accident at the site.

On Nov. 11, 2004, two workers were killed and two others sustained serious injuries at the university's Oxford, Miss., campus when the forklift platform in which they were being lifted overturned.

"This tragic accident would have been prevented if the forklift manufacturer's instructions and OSHA regulations had been followed," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director.

OSHA issued citations for one alleged serious and two alleged willful violations of safety standards to the general contractor, Harvey C. Green Construction Co. Inc. Proposed penalties total $102,900 for improper use of a forklift and scaffold platform and failing to train forklift operators and protect workers from fall hazards.

The roofing contractor, Steven Patrick Nance, received one willful and five serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $34,150. Alleged violations include improper use of a forklift and scaffold platform and failing to provide fall protection equipment for employees, conduct regular job site and equipment inspections and ensure that a competent person operated a forklift.

Tri-Star Mechanical Inc. received three serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $13,200 for allegedly failing to protect workers from fall hazards; ensuring that a forklift was operated by a competent person; and ensuring the use of proper electrical equipment.

B & G Electrical Contractors Inc. received one serious citation with a proposed penalty of $1,125 for failing to have proper electrical equipment available at the job site.

Mississippi Sheet Metal Inc., also cited for electrical violations, received a proposed penalty of $875.

The companies have 15 working days to appeal the citations and penalties.

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