OSHA cites, fines Thomson company after fatality

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 12:41 PM
Last updated 7:45 PM
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THOMSON — A McDuffie County business has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Admin­istration after a fatal August industrial accident.

Michael D’Aquino, of the Department of Labor’s office of public affairs, said OSHA issued $13,050 in penalties to Two State Construction Co. for four serious citations and one other-than-serious citation.

The investigation and citations stem from an Aug. 28 incident at Two State that killed Edward Leon Chambers, 61. According to McDuffie County Deputy Coroner Sammy Purvis, Chambers died after being hit by a bridge crane hoist. That hoist was mounted 18 to 20 feet above the ground on an I-beam, near the ceiling of a metal-fabrication workshop. The hoist weighed 500 to 600 pounds.

Two State was cited for not furnishing a place of employment that was free from recognized hazards that would likely cause death or serious physical harm to employees. OSHA says Two State employees were exposed to crush hazards because the employer did not ensure initial inspections were made to a 5-ton crane hoist after it had been modified and installed at the facility.

Two State was also cited for not having lighted exit signs in the fabrication area, for not ensuring that frequent crane inspections took place, for not having proper screens in place to protect workers next to the welding area from the rays emitted and for not having fire extinguishers undergo annual inspections.

OSHA defines a serious violation as when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

After a Nov. 20 conference with Two State, all fines and penalties were paid to OSHA in full.

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soapy_725 12/05/12 - 11:23 am
Two State's version of risk management.

Mr. Chamber's life is gone. Two State saved money. The fine is nothing. What did they pay the deceased family?

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