Occupational Health & Safety

OSHA Fines Two Contractors $175,000 Following Construction Collapse, Injuries

OSHA is proposing $175,000 in penalties against W.G. Yates & Sons Construction and Spectrum Concrete Services following the November 2008 collapse of a wood shoring system at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center's medical towers addition in Meridian, Miss.

Workers were pouring concrete for the second floor of the building when the floor collapsed, injuring eight employees of the two companies. W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. was the general contractor at the site and had contracted with Spectrum Concrete Services LLC to pour and finish the concrete.

OSHA is proposing two willful violations with penalties of $140,000 and five serious safety violations with $33,000 in penalties against W.G. Yates & Sons. The willful violations are for the company's failure to adequately erect and brace framework to support loads and to adequately brace tiered shoring. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The serious violations are for the company's failure to train staff, provide drawings on site during the first two weeks of construction and vertically align tiered shores. In addition, shoring equipment had not been inspected prior to erection and the tiered shoring had not been inspected by an engineer.

Spectrum Concrete Services is being cited with three serious violations and $2,000 in fines for failure to provide a written hazard communication program, a safety and health program, and fall protection training.

"There is no justification for risking workers' lives by ignoring the requirements in the design plans," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson Area Office.

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