Construction Company Walks Thin Line With OSHA

Aug. 29, 2000
OSHA cited Highlines Construction Co. in Bridge City, La., for\r\nfour safety violations and penalties totaling $122,200.

OSHA cited Highlines Construction Co. in Bridge City, La., for four safety violations and penalties totaling $122,200.

The OSHA investigation began in response to an electrocution that occurred Feb. 23 during the installation of new power lines.

The power line construction crew was performing the installation in New Orleans when the electrocution occurred.

Highlines employs approximately 235 workers company-wide and had five employees at the construction site on the day of the accident.

OSHA cited the company for two serious and two repeat violations. The two serious violations were for the employer not adequately testing the power lines to ensure it had been deenergized, and for not applying protective grounds before installing the power lines.

The repeat violations were for the employer not providing adequate training and instruction to each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and for the employer not guarding or insulating energized power lines when employees were working closer than the minimum distance required by the standard.

"Nine months ago, this company was cited for similar violations when an electrocution took place in Arkansas," said John Deifer, Baton Rouge area director. "A combination of effective equipment, adhering to basic safe work practices, and qualified supervision, could have prevented this accident and reduced the risks of electrical contact for other workers."

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing or contest the citations.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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