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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

OSHA Fines Construction Contractor in Colorado following Worker Death

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued fines for safety violation to a construction firm in Colorado, according to Hayward Baker, a national geotechnical construction firm, was contracted at a site near Austin Highlands in August of 2011. Worker Greg Watson, 39, of Minneapolis, died in a construction accident at the site. A fall-prevention cord that Watson was wearing became tangled in a drill when it was turned back on, and Watson was dragged and spun around until his coworkers were able to turn off the drill. Watson was pronounced dead on the scene.

OSHA investigated the site and levied fines against the contractor on February 6 for safety violations, according to OSHA Regional Director Herb Gibson. The violations include failure to have emergency shut-off procedures in place and failure to set up a proper anchor-point. Proposed fines total $11,675. Hayward Baker was reportedly cooperative in the investigation.

“We want employees to do safety analyses to ensure that workplaces are safe,” said Gibson. “This is obviously a tragic situation that occurred here. “We want to ensure that machinery is properly maintained and operated so tragic situations like this don’t happen in the future.”

Gibson is right; employees and employers alike need to be on the lookout for hazards in the workplace. Nobody gets a closer look at equipment and working conditions than the workers. If you see something that you think could pose a threat, notify your employer or union steward immediately and ensure that they take steps to correct it.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus workers comp attorneys.

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