Do NOT Reduce the Fines Against Wireless Horizon, Inc.
Having just returned from the FCC/DOL Workshop regarding the telecommunications industry, we believe it is important to send a message to employers that WILLFULLY place their employees in harm’s way that they should be held accountable for their actions! According to published reports, "OSHA's inspection found that the equipment the company provided the workers was in poor repair and the company did not use proper engineering plans to ensure their workers were protected against this type of collapse.
The agency’s investigation found that Wireless Horizon failed to inspect the wire rope slings prior to use and provide protection to the slings whenwire rope slings prior to use and provide protection to the slings when rigged over sharp objects. These failures resulted in the issuance of two willful violations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Wireless Horizon also failed to conduct an engineering survey and develop a rigging plan prior to beginning the demolition process. Additionally, the company did not provide the technicians a load chart for the gin pole in use or operator manuals, according to OSHA" (WE, 2014).
The fines for the "willful violations" could have been more ($70K), but those have already been reduced to $56K. Additionally, the "serious" violations should have been $7K, but those too have been reduced to $5,600. Hubble Foundation, the families, and the workers in the industry are calling on OSHA to do the responsible and the morally just thing. We are askingthat the fines remain where they are and that they not be reduced further!
For many years now, OSHA fines have resulted in being little more than "the cost of business." Show the employers in this industry that placing---WILLFULLY placing employee lives at risk will NOT be tolerated.
Seth Garner and Marty Powers should never have lost their lives just by going to work! The tower collapse that took their lives in Blaine, KS could have been prevented, and the employer needs to be held accountable for the actions they took that day by placing the lives of these men, and others, at risk.