Longshoring Firm Faces $51,100 Fine Following Worker Fatality

OSHA began an investigation Aug. 8 after an employee was struck in the head by the boom of a crane that was being used to unload fish on the Pacific Princess tuna fishing vessel.

OSHA has cited Pacific Stevedoring Services, a longshoring company based in Pago Pago, American Samoa, with five safety violations following the death of a worker at the StarKist wharf in Atu'u, American Samoa. Proposed penalties total $51,100.

OSHA began an investigation Aug. 8 after an employee was struck in the head by the boom of a crane that was being used to unload fish on the Pacific Princess tuna fishing vessel. OSHA's investigation determined that the crane's hydraulic cylinder failed when the load exceeded the crane's capacity and that communication between the signalman and crane operator was ineffective.

One willful violation with a $42,000 penalty was cited for failing to ensure the shipboard crane's working load was not exceeded.

Three serious violations with $9,100 in penalties include failing to provide personal protective equipment such as hard hats and safety shoes, ensure that the signal person used conventional crane signals to communicate with the vessel's crane operator, and provide accident prevention training to the foreman.

An other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was cited for failing to record workplace injuries and illnesses as required.

"Ensuring that a crane operates within safe working limits is a basic requirement of OSHA's safety standards. A family has lost a loved one because these standards were ignored," said Galen Lemke, director of OSHA's Honolulu Area Office in Hawaii.

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