NEWS / Contractor fined for dangerous diving on bridge site


The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited IEW Construction Group Inc. for 12 commercial diving and other serious safety violations found while the company was doing repair work on the Alexander Road Bridge in Princeton.

"This company failed to meet OSHA's commercial diving operations standards and put its workers at risk of serious hazards, including drowning, hypothermia, and circulatory and respiratory problems," said director of OSHA's Marlton area office Paula Dixon-Roderick. "All employers, especially those engaged in high-hazard activities such as diving, must provide a safe working environment for their employees."

Proposed penalties total US$83,160. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before an independent commission. 

The violations include employee exposure to being struck or disorientated when umbilical cables, which supply breathing gas and other services from a surface supply to a diver, were not clearly marked. They also include the company's failure to instruct employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions. It also failed to provide employees with a safe practice manual for diving, decompression tables at a dive location. Other problems included failing to test air compressor systems every six months, failing to provide depth gauges at the site. 

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