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Region 1 News Release: 12-1157-BOS/BOS 2012-113
June 19, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2075
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Pawtucket River Bridge reconstruction
contractor, proposes $60,900 in fines for inadequate rescue and fall safeguards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the general contractor for the reconstruction of the Pawtucket River Bridge for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards for inadequate rescue procedures and for fall hazards. S&R/Pihl, a joint venture LLC, faces a total of $60,900 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Providence Area Office.

OSHA found that S&R/Pihl did not have procedures and equipment in place for the prompt rescue of employees working at heights of up to 90 feet. The contractor's emergency response plan did not ensure that proper rescue equipment and trained personnel were readily available if needed.

As a result, OSHA issued S&R/Pihl a citation with a $56,000 fine for this willful violation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

"If employees fall from a high angle and are suspended by their personal fall arrest systems, or if they need to be evacuated from elevated work areas due to an emergency, then time is of the utmost essence in rescuing them. Rescue measures, including appropriate equipment, must be available and ready to be put into use immediately," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's area director for Rhode Island. "Despite being informed of this requirement, S&R/Pihl has th