The contractor for the Bonner Bridge demolition project in Rodanthe faces two serious citations from the United States Department Of Labor related to a welder’s death earlier this year.
The workplace safety investigation found that established procedures were ignored, leading to the 42-year-old welder to fall more than 50 feet to his death when the structure collapsed on April 14, Department of Interior officials said in a release Friday.
PCL Civil Constructors is the lead contractor for the demolition project, which includes dismantling sections of the bridge built in 1963.
The worker was torch-cutting crossbeams on a section of the bridge where the company discarded concrete for removal. The concrete’s weight caused the structure to collapse and the welder to fall.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, cited PCL Civil Constructors with two serious violations for failure to use engineering surveys or calculations to control the structure’s stability and avoid unplanned collapses. OSHA also found the employer overloaded bridge sections beyond weight capacity and exposed workers to struck-by and crush-by hazards, the release states.
OSHA has proposed $23,210 in penalties.
“PCL Civil Constructors violated federal safety standards and a worker needlessly died as a result,” OSHA Area Director Kimberley Morton in Raleigh said in a statement. “If they had followed well-known standards, this tragic loss of life could have been prevented.”
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA sets and enforces standards, and provides training, education and assistance to keep workers safe.