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Officials react to citations at MCLB gas project site

MCLB-ALBANY -- Officials from the U.S. Navy have issued a comment following the multiple safety violation citations recently issued to three contractors stemming from an incident that occurred on the landfill gas project site at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Piedmont Mechanical Inc., Jim Boyd Construction Inc. and Chevron Energy Solutions Inc. for safety hazards after a worker received burns from an electrical shock during the installation of the new landfill gas processing and compression facility at MCLB-Albany.

Following the announcement on Tuesday, a statement came down Wednesday morning from Naval Facilities Southeast.

"Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany learned Tuesday in a U.S. Department of Labor news release that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited three contractors for violating safety at a construction site on our base which occurred earlier this year," said Susan Brink, public affairs officer for Naval Facilities Southeast, in the statement. "At the time of the incident, the Marine Corps, Navy, OSHA and (the contractors) immediately investigated the mishap to ensure the continued safety of all employees working on the site and that the problem would not happen again.

"Neither the Marine Corps or the Navy were cited in the violations, as the prime contractor is responsible for safety at the construction site. The contractors have put precautions in place to avoid any future violation on the job site and have continued work on the project since the investigation."

OSHA cited enough violations for proposed penalties to total $189,700 following an inspection begun in March after an incident in which the boom tip of a crane contacted an overhead power line with a carrying capacity of more than 12,000 volts. Electricity traveled down the crane through a line that was connected to the load being moved by the crane and shocked the employee on the ground, who was holding the line.

"When there are multiple companies operating together at the same site, which is often the case in construction projects, it is important that all the employers take a serious interest in the safety and health of the workers, and actively seek to prevent hazards like the ones we found here," said Robert Vazzi, director of the OSHA office for the Savannah area, in a statement issued Tuesday regarding the Albany incident.

Proposed penalties total $125,300 for Piedmont Mechanical, $58,100 for Jim Boyd Construction and $6,300 for Chevron Energy Solutions. Chevron Energy Solutions is based in San Francisco, and is a division of Chevron Corp. Piedmont Mechanical is based in Spartanburg, S.C., and Jim Boyd Construction is based in Albany.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.