Bridge Contractor Faces $193,200 in Fines for Water, Fall Hazards

OSHA has issued the company 13 safety citations for failing to provide fall protection and implement water safety procedures for workers sandblasting and painting the Interstate 75 Disalle Bridge more than 40 feet above the Maumee River.

OSHA has issued APBN Inc. of Campbell, Ohio, 13 safety citations for failing to provide fall protection and implement water safety procedures for workers sandblasting and painting the Interstate 75 Disalle Bridge more than 40 feet above the Maumee River last October as part of an Ohio Department of Transportation project. The company faces penalties totaling $193,200 and will be placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

"Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the workplace. There is no excuse for failing to provide protection for employees facing fall and water hazards," said Jule Hovi, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Employers are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist on their job sites and implementing safety measures to protect workers who are exposed to risks that could result in injury or death."

APBN was issued three willful citations, with penalties of $147,000, for allowing workers to be exposed to a 40-50 feet fall while climbing on and off of the abutment walls to access the two suspended scaffold platforms on the north and south sides of the Disalle Bridge; not ensuring workers wore fall protection on the job site; and not having a lifesaving skiff, ring buoys, and life jackets available in the event that a worker fell into the river.

Ten serious citations with penalties of $46,200 were issued for misuse of ladders; not extending ladders 3 feet above the abutment wall and not having grip handles on ladders; failing to have qualified personnel inspect scaffolding before each work shift and be present for the erection, moving, altering, or dismantling of scaffolding; failing to have a qualified person train workers on scaffolding usage and safety; not protecting lifelines from abrasions and damage; failing to have qualified personnel design and install lifelines; failing to properly inspect and retighten wire rope clips on suspended platforms; failing to protect electrical outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters; and failing to use equipment in accordance with certification standards.

OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers' activities are 6 feet or more above the next lower level.

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