Last April, in a blog entry Walworth Man's Death at Construction Site Under Lake Ontario Subject of OSHA Investigation, I wrote about a man who was killed while employed boring a water treatment tunnel under Lake Ontario.
Thomas W. Means, age 45, died of a head injury when the small underground train locomotive he was driving ran into a conveyor on the boring machine.
In October, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration completed its investigation. OSHA blamed the contractor, Southland Contracting Inc., of Fort Worth, TX, and fined it, $55,440 for seven safety violations that OSHA said led to the death.
Six of the violations were "serious", meaning that they could cause a substantial probability of death or serious injury: A fuse blew in the electrical system, causing lights to go out in the tunnel (sixteen stories deep in the earth); the locomotive driven by Mr. Means had "bumper blocks" missing, was pushing an "unattached car", and had not been inspected for modifications and repairs.
OSHA also found a repeat violation by Southland Contracting Inc.: it failed to instruct its employees in anticipating and avoiding "crushing hazards".