Friday, November 25, 2005

"I'm surprised more people weren't killed,"

Senator Mike Enzi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education and Labor, thinks that OSHA's wings need to be clipped because "most employers are concerned for the welfare of their employees and are fully prepared to comply with laws aimed at enhancing their safety on the job."

The Tiberti Construction Company must be one of those that isn't:
A man who worked on the Southcoast project earlier this year, but no longer does, says the construction company didn't enforce on the job safety. A worker fell to his death at the Southcoast site on Tuesday. It's the second death at the construction site in the last two months.

Construction progressed as usual at Southcoast site on Wednesday except for one small difference. The Tiberti Construction Company gave their workers the option of leaving for the rest of the day without penalty. All of the iron workers there decided not to work Wednesday out of respect for the iron worker who died after falling there Tuesday.

Eyewitness News has learned the name of the ironworker killed. He is 32-year-old Richard Reid. While his death has been ruled accidental, we do know a toxicology report is also being conducted.

One former worker, who did not want to be identified, says this project has a number of safety issues, which is why is he left. "I wasn't surprised at all. Actually, I'm surprised more people weren't killed," he said.

This former construction worker says he was hurt while working on the Southcoast Casino in May because safety rules were not being followed. He told Eyewitness News that essentially workers safety is out the door because it's all about getting the job completed on time. "Contractors get high-dollar jobs and if they prove that they did the last one on a fast-track their gonna get the next one on a fast-track."
Oops, uh, Senator Enzi, here's another one:
For the third time in five weeks, Fraser Paper Inc. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and faces more fines totaling $115,000.

On Oct. 14, Fraser was cited for failing to record 65 injuries within seven days of their occurrence in the period between March 2002 and February 2005. The company was fined $55,000.

On Oct. 17, the company was fined $90,500 for five willful and serious violations after the April 20 death of Marc Baron. Baron fell to his death while working atop a huge tank.

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor's New England OSHA office cited Fraser for failing to record 65 injuries and illnesses that occurred at the company's Madawaska mill and fined the company $170,000.