OSHA, a division of the US Department of Labor, started an investigation into Schuylkill at the beginning of March after receiving a complaint. The investigation led to a citation for wilful violation after OSHA found that Schuylkill was loading cranes beyond their rated load capacity during normal operations, and two citations for serious violations after it was discovered overhead cranes were not equipped with devices to prevent the automatic restart of the crane’s motor in the event of a power failure, and that Schuylkill did not perform annual crane inspections.

The wilful violation citation carries a penalty of USD56,000 and the two serious violations carry a penalty of USD9,800.

OSHA defines a wilful violation as one committed with plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazards.

“The employer regularly lifted 60 USt to 107 USt of precast concrete beams with cranes ill-equipped to handle this kind of load, exposing workers to a variety of hazards,” said Mark Stelmack, area director of OSHA’s Wilkes-Barre office.

Schuylkill has 15 business days from receipt of the citation to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.