Tennessee Contractor Fined $7,150 for Bridge Fatality
Britton Bridge LLC, the Mt. Juliet, Tenn., company with two separate fatalities on a Knoxville bridge project this year, has been fined $7,150 for a pair of violations related to the second death.
The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for exposing employees to hazards from falling objects when working on a barge during bridge demolition and for not warning them about hazards from the swing radius of the 300-ton and 150-ton Link Belt cranes mounted on barges below the bridge.
Solin Estrada-Jimenez, 49, was killed May 24 after being hit in the head by a large piece of concrete debris that fell about 60 ft to the barge where he was working.
“The company maintains a safety program manual but does not address the issue of overhead falling debris hazards,” the TOSHA report said.
While employees are taught fall protection, “falling debris was not identified as a hazard with appropriate methods to eliminate, isolate and/or protect employees from injury,” it said.
The owner received the citation Oct. 4 and it was released to the public Oct. 5.
TOSHA inspectors found several safety issues, including:
• Britton “did not provide protection to its employees from falling debris by cleaning the area of demolition and/or barricading the area to prevent employees from being underneath loose debris.”
• It “did not ensure the employees were properly trained in all aspects of safety and health. The company has a bilingual trainer but the Hispanic speaking employees did not fully understand all the requirements of training and hazard identification.”
• While management has written safety programs and job site superintendents are responsible for day-to-day safety, “a link between the two leadership groups for safety accountability was not evident.”