If federal workplace safety requirements had been followed, a North Georgia site grading and pipeline contractor could have prevented the death of a 24-year-old worker who was killed in May after a fork attachment used on a front-end loader dislodged and struck the worker.
An investigation by the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that when the incident occurred at the Dawsonville work site, the worker was holding a stake as heavy equipment drove it into the ground to install a stanchion for GPS equipment. The worker was transported to a local hospital and died of his injuries.
OSHA cited Mathis Grading Inc. of Cumming for failing to provide a workplace free from recognised hazards and not notifying OSHA of a work-related fatality within the eight-hour required reporting period. The company faces USD20,480 in proposed penalties.
“Like all employers, Mathis Grading must provide a workplace free of recognisable hazards by identifying and mitigating safety hazards,” says OSHA area director Joshua Turner in Atlanta-East. “Had established safety instructions outlined in the equipment safety manual been followed, this tragic death could have been prevented.”
Founded in 1985, Mathis Grading Inc. is a family-owned and -operated site grading and pipeline installation contractor for residential, commercial and industrial land development.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.