Defective Cranes, Scaffolds Part of $78,100 Fine for Mississippi Manufacturer

OSHA is proposing $78,100 in penalties after an inspection at the Pass Christian, Miss., manufacturing facility of Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Inc. revealed six serious and 10 repeat safety violations. The company makes concrete girders, platforms, and other components for the bridge, marine, structural, and petrochemical industries. Inspectors found serious safety violations with employees operating cranes with broken, missing, and leaking parts, and the agency determined that monthly safety inspections were not being performed. Plywood planking on the scaffolds was damaged with cracks and splits, wood timbers lacked a guardrail system, and compressed gas cylinders were not secured, OSHA said.

"Operating cranes with defects and allowing employees to work on unsafe scaffolds and gangways threatens the safety of the more than 300 people employed at this plant," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson Area Office, which conducted the inspection.

The company is being cited with repeat violations that include allowing employees to work around electrical hazards and on structural beams without guard rails. Also, safety equipment was missing or not being maintained properly, and an employee was sighted driving a front-end loader under a load suspended by a crane. The location had been cited for similar violations in 2007, OSHA said. The company has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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