Contractors Fined for Safety Violations at Army Airfield

OSHA cited two companies for safety violations on a construction\r\nsite at the Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga.

OSHA cited two companies for safety violations on a construction site at the Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga.

OSHA fined general contractor, Metric Constructors Inc. and subcontractor, Joseph Watson Masonry a total of $101,000 as a result of the citations.

According to OSHA, both contractors were cited for hazards related to scaffold and fall protection standards.

The agency proposed penalties of $56,000 against Joseph Watson, doing business as Joseph Watson Masonry, for one willful violation including failing to provide required fall protection and a safe means of access to and from scaffolding.

The remaining $6,000 penalty resulted from two serious violations dealing with wire rope fall protection deficiencies and lack of a safety and health program.

As the controlling employer, Metric Constructors was fined $19,000 for three serious violations.

The serious citations included violations for unsafe access to and from scaffolding, failure to provide adequate guarding for fall protection on the scaffolding and failure to provide adequate perimeter guarding for fall protection on the building during construction.

"Despite numerous warnings of unsafe conditions from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, these contractors did little or nothing to correct hazards that could have caused serious injury or even death," said Luis Santiago, OSHA''s Savannah area director. "When a hazard is known, the employer has an obligation to correct it. Being proactive prior to an OSHA inspection can alleviate expensive penalties and, in the case of particularly dangerous industries like construction, can prevent accidents and save lives."

Metric Constructors, located in Marietta, Ga., is a subsidiary of J.A. Jones Inc., which employs approximately 5,000 workers.

Metric employs about 260 workers, nine of whom were assigned to construction of the new barracks complex at Hunter Army Airfield.

Nineteen of Decatur, Ga.-based Joseph Watson Masonry''s approximately 21 employees were working at the Savannah job site.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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