L.E. Myers To Appeal OSHA Citation

Sept. 27, 2000
The L.E. Myers Co. said that an OSHA citation issued Monday was\r\nbased on inaccurate technical findings, and that the company would\r\nappeal.

The L.E. Myers Co. said that an OSHA citation issued Monday was based on inaccurate technical findings, and that the company would appeal.

The citation was issued as a result of a March 25 fatality that occurred while the company was doing maintenance work on electrical transmission towers in Plainfield, Ill.

"We deeply regret this tragic loss of life," said William Skibitsky, president of L.E. Myers. "We understand OSHA''s role in helping maintain a safe work environment, we support its efforts, and we cooperate fully with its investigations. However, we believe that the OSHA citation related to the accident in Plainfield is based on inaccurate technical findings and not justified in its severity."

Specifically, OSHA proposed three alleged willful instance-by-instance violations for inadequate grounding on three transmission towers. The agency defines willful violations as those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and OSHA regulations.

L.E. Myers said it objects to terming the accident as a "willful" act on its part, saying that the inference that the accident was something it intended, was different to, or caused to happen was "absolutely wrong."

OSHA alleges that the company failed to train workers and enforce the company rules on grounding, which exposed 32 workers to a serious hazard and cost a journeyman lineman his life.

"Our journeyman was fully trained in safety and knowledgeable in the correct grounding procedures according to industry standards," said Skibitsky. "We will never know why he violated procedures to remove the grounding cable which he installed, but it certainly did not represent a willful act by the company."

Skibitsky noted that the company takes safety extremely seriously and has worked hard to improve its safety programs.

"The work we do can be extremely dangerous and we are totally committed to the principles of safety and safe work practices for our employees," said Skibitsky. "The company is taking additional steps to assure that our emphasis on continuos improvement in our internal safety training and results is an ongoing mission."

The proposed OSHA fine for L.E. Myers is $423,500. Skibitsky said the company believes this amount is "excessively severe" and it will appeal.

"We understand OSHA''s desire to make a statement with a large fine," said Skibitsky. "Unfortunately, a fine cannot reverse the consequences of a tragic accident, and we are focused on, and committed to, preventing a reoccurrence in the future."

The L.E. Myers Co., a specialty electrical contractor providing construction services to electric utilities, public power companies, and other commercial entities, has 1,500 employees nationwide.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

Sponsored Recommendations

10 Facts About the State of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

July 12, 2024
Workplace safety in the U.S. has improved over the past 50 years, but progress has recently stalled. This report from the AFL-CIO highlights key challenges.

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!