Did employer completely ignore workers’ safety concerns?
More than a dozen times over a two-month period, employees made notations in logs about a crane cable that needed to be repaired. But a court said the company “utterly failed to take steps to discover violations.” What happened when the company appealed a $56,000 OSHA fine?
On May 21, 2013, the boom cable of a crane operated on a bridge construction project in Tennessee by Mountain States Contractors snapped, causing the boom to fall onto the highway.
The company didn’t contest the other-than-serious violation and settled wit OSHA on the serious infraction. It decided to contest the willful violation on two grounds: that the citation wasn’t warranted and that it shouldn’t be classified as willful.
Three Mountain States employees operated the crane. One of them, a foreman, said he’d seen broken wires on the boom before the incident, but the cable didn’t meet “out-of-service” criteria. Another operator said he had no idea why the cable snapped.
But the third said not only had there been broken wires throughout the boom cable, it did meet out-of-service criteria before the incident and he had told the foreman the cable needed to be repaired. But a court said the company “utterly failed to take steps to discover violations.” What happened when the company appealed a $56,000 OSHA fine? (Read entire article)