Heavy Equipment Company in Kahului Cited by US Labor Department
By Maui Now Staff
Hawthorne Pacific Corp. in Kahului, Maui, faces an estimated $70,000 in fines after being cited for 13 alleged serious violations, and two other-than-serious violations of safety standards.
The citations were issued by the US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration following a worker fatality on Oct. 23, 2012 involving a crane.
Officials with the OSHA Honolulu Area Office said the company, “failed in its responsibility to ensure that workers followed the manufacturer’s requirements for the safe operation and maintenance of equipment.
“This tragic accident could have easily been prevented had the employer addressed these issues,” said OSHA Honolulu office director, Galen Lemke, in a labor department issued press release.
According to information released by the US Department of Labor, an inspection allegedly found the following:
- Outriggers designed to stabilize the truck-mounted crane that crushed the worker were not extended, allowing it to tip, according to OSHA claims;
- The company allegedly failed to properly inspect and maintain records of critical items on the crane;
- OSHA claims the industrial boom truck crane had been out of service for more than six months and had not had a complete inspection before use.
- The company allegedly failed to properly tag keys for the truck crane as “do not use” because a warning indicator wasn’t functioning.
A serious violation is defined as one in which there is “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.”
Under OSHA guidelines, the company reportedly has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.