The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has upheld an instance-by-instance OSHA fine involving the deaths of two Missouri construction company employees.
OSHRC affirmed a total of six serious and 12 willful violations against Thomas Industrial Coatings, Inc., of Pevely, MO, for a total fine of $871,500.
The decision is an affirmation of OSHA’s violation-by-violation penalties, also known as egregious willful violations. In this case, eight willful violations were issued to the company accounting for each employee exposed to the same fall hazard.
In 2006, two Thomas employees died after falling from the same bridge. Dan Denzer fell to his death through a hole in a platform while painting the underside of the bridge. Two months later, Andy Wilson died when he was dismantling the scaffold.
OSHA said neither man was wearing required fall protection.
Thomas had a third fatality earlier the same year. A worker fell from a temporary work platform under a bridge and drowned in the Mississippi River.
Initially, OSHA issued 33 willful and 8 serious violations to Thomas for a total of $2.3 million in fines. In an earlier hearing, an administrative law judge reduced the penalty to $871,500 (37% of the original amount), but Thomas still appealed that ruling.
A spokesman said the company is reviewing OSHRC’s decision and declined to comment whether it will file a further appeal.