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Indiana OSHA Proposes Fines Against ERI

Fines for alleged safety violations related to two fatalities; Silliman says report being revised

In Indiana, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a $91,500 fine for tower company ERI for alleged safety violations in connection with two fatalities.

As the Layfayette Journal and Courier reported, two men fell some 340 feet and died in April while helping to build a 500-foot tower for the WASK Radio Group.

The Indiana OSHA report (PDF) was issued in Sept. 14.

In the initial findings, the Indiana OSHA says the men were exposed to fall hazards while riding the pole connected to the jump line of the gin pole, a vertical pole or assembly piece used in the construction of tall towers. It also claims the men were not provided with adequate fall protection when accessing the “man-basket” and that load limits were not properly marked on some of the crew’s equipment.

ERI President Tom Silliman told the publication that some of OSHA’s initial findings were incorrect and the report is being revised with a new one due out next week. He said he could not comment until the final determinations have been made.

According to the initial findings, those fined can appeal.