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The Occupational Safety and Health Admini-stration (OSHA) has issued a citation for a serious violation against a contractor at Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo, Guam, following an investigation into a fatal workplace accident in April at the base’s replacement fuel line project.
OSHA issued a serious citation and an other-than-serious citation with a penalty of $2,800, to Nova/Fedrick AJV of Barrigada, Guam. The violations include failure to train employees in recognizing and avoiding unsafe conditions while working next to a chain-type trenching machine and failure to replace cracked and broken windshield glass on the machine.
Nova/Fedrick AJV employee Candido Edelo Edu, age 22, died on April 23 when he was beginning a 90-foot-long trenching operation. Edu was working on the blind side of the trenching machine within 1 to 2 feet in front of the unit when the accident occurred. As Edu shoveled material back into the trench, the dirt bank where he stood caved in, and he fell into the trench and was fatally injured by the trenching machine.
The accident might have been prevented by training the employee on how to safely work near the trenching machine, according to Leonard Limtiaco, the OSHA enforcement director who supervised the investigation. Limtiaco says Edu was working too close to the equipment. OSHA regulations require that employees be trained in safe operation of equipment. Limtiaco says a sign was posted on the trenching machine warning workers to not work too closely when it was operating.
OSHA is also investigating a second accident that occurred Aug. 11 involving Nova/Fedrick at the same construction site. Limtiaco said the victim of the second accident appears to be related to the worker killed in April.
In a second case, OSHA has issued citations for two serious violations and three repeat violations against a contractor working on the $40 million Micronesia Mall expansion project in Dededo, Guam. OSHA issued citations for two serious violations, each with a $2,500 penalty, and three repeat violations, with fines of $100,000, to Pacific Crown Construction, based in Tamuning. OSHA cited the company for serious violations of its safety standards by failing to provide employees with face protection while they handled pneumatic hoses used in pouring concrete and for failing to protect employees from falling through holes in form work for cast-in-place concrete.
OSHA also issued citations for three repeat violations for the same or similar hazards observed during a January 1998 inspection of work by Pacific Crown at the mall project. OSHA officials found that the contractor failed to provide fall protection for employees working on an elevated platform, exposing the workers to a more than 15-foot fall onto concrete reinforcing steel rods; failed to provide employees with stairs or ladders for access to an elevated work area, forcing workers to climb the frame work of the scaffolding to reach their work area; and failed to provide fall protection for employees working at the edges of the second-level parking lot, approximately 34 feet above ground level.
Limtiaco notes that falls from heights are one of the four leading causes of deaths and serious injuries in the construction industry. OSHA cited the company in October 1998 for failing to provide fall protection after an employee fell to his death when a scaffold tipped over.