Page 10-Friday, June 9, 1978-The Michigan Daily
OSHA links deaths to company ne
WASHINGTON (AP)-The govern-
ment charged yesterday that a con-
struction firm committed "willful"
safety rule violations that contributed
to the deaths of 51 men in a West
Virginia scaffolding collapse in April.
The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration cited Research-Cottrell
for 16 violations of federal safety rules,
10 of them "willful" and six "serious."
OSHA linked three of the willful
violations to the collapse of the scaf-
THE FINDING of "willful"
violations means the government can
turn the matter over to the Justice
Department for criminal prosecution.
However, Dr. Eula Bingham, the
administrator of OSHA, said at a news
conference that her agency had not
decided whether to recommend
criminal prosecution, which could lead
to a six-month jail sentence upon con-
viction for each violation.
A willful violation means that an em-
ployer either intentionally violated a
safety rule or was aware of a life-
threatening hazard but made no
reasonable effort to correct it, Bingham
building a cooling tower from which 51
men plunged to their deaths April 27
when the scaffold they were working on
peeled away from the top of the 170-
foot-high tower. The accident happened
at the Monongahela Power Co. plant at
Willow Island, W.Va.
In addition to the citations, the OSHA
proposed penalties totaling $105,100
The company has 15 days to appeal
the citations and fines to an OSHA
review board. If the board upholds the
citations, the company can appeal
through the federal courts.
AT RESEARCH-COTTRELL head-
quarters in Bound Brook, N.J.,
spokesman Phillip Cocco said the com-
pany feels that "OSHA was not
justified" in issuing the citations. He
said the company "intends to contest
The OSHA also cited two other firms
at the construction site with two safety
rules violations apiece and proposed
fines of $1,600 for each. The two firms
are Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory,
which was testing concrete used to
build the cooling tower, and United
Engineers and Constructors of
Philadelphia, the general engineering
contractor at the site.
Bingham said an agency in-
vestigation of the disaster concluded
that there were three principal factors
that caused the accident:
-Failure of the three contractors to
conduct proper tests of freshly poured
concrete to make sure it had
strengthened sufficiently before the
scaffold was raised and attached to the
new ring of concrete.
-Failure by Research-Cottrell to
properly secure the scaffold support
system to the cooling tower.
-Failure by Research-Cottrell to
properly anchor and maintain sections
of a concrete hoisting system to support
the maximum intended load. The
hoisting system is attached to the scaf-
fold and helped stablize the scaffold.
Naomi James, standing with her husband Rob, acknowledges the cheers of the
Dartmouth, England crowd as she returns from her 272-day solo trip around the
world in a sailboat.
ON THE WATERFRONT
A forceful drama about labor union corruption on the docks
of New Jersey. BRANDO gives another bravura performance
as the tough "little guy" bucking a corrupt establishment.
Winner of many Oscars, music by Leonard Bernstein. Co-star-
ring EVA MARIE SAINT, KARL MALDEN, LEE J. COBB and ROD
$1.50 7:30 and9:30 Aud A, AngelId
Tomorrow: Polnskl's REPULSION