Three Contractors Face $193,400 in Fines for Hazards at Field House Worksite

The citations address the employer's failure to ensure that the concrete foundation was structurally sound and the structural steel was constantly stable during the erection process.

OSHA has proposed a total of $193,400 in fines for three Pennsylvania-based contractors for alleged violations of workplace safety standards at a work site located at the Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H.

The largest penalties are proposed against JDE Inc. of Souderton, Penn., general contractor for the construction of a field house on the campus grounds. An inspection by OSHA's Concord Area Office resulted in OSHA issuing four willful citations with $140,000 in proposed fines to JDE. The citations address the employer's failure to ensure that the concrete foundation was structurally sound and the structural steel was constantly stable during the erection process. This exposed employees to crushing hazards if the foundation weakened and/or the structural steel collapsed. Additionally, JDE failed to protect its employees against fall and cave-in hazards.

Five serious citations with $19,800 in fines were issued to JDE for its failure to test the concrete footings prior to steel erection, ensure plans for the concrete forms were available on site, prevent workers from climbing the rails of an aerial lift, provide a properly drained work site for equipment, and train workers to recognize steel erection and other hazards.

Steel erection contractor Superior Fabric Structures of New Providence, Pa., was issued three serious citations, with $21,000 in fines, for failing to ensure the structural steel was constantly stable during the erection process, obtain written notification that the concrete had achieved sufficient strength to support steel erection loads, and train workers in steel erection hazards and the operation of powered industrial trucks. Masonry contractor Pat Campion, doing business as Campion Construction Co., of Glenside, Pa., faces $12,600 in fines for three serious citations for lack of cave-in protection for employees in an excavation, not training workers to identify cave-in hazards, and not having a competent person inspect the excavation to identify and correct hazards.

Kimball Union spokeswoman Julia Brennan said the private boarding and day school cooperated with OSHA and the state Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Building Safety and Construction.

According to the Union Leader, Kimball Union terminated its contract with JDE Inc. and filed a lawsuit in January against the contractor.

“Having OSHA fine these contractors underscores ... the reason why we terminated them in a very clear way,” Brennan said.

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