Steel Erection Violations Levied by OSHA Against Lee Jones & Son

Steel erection of columns follow OSHA's General Duty Clause of providing a safe environment.Two violations involving steel erection were levied against Lee Jones & Son Construction of Fargo, South Dakota. They were cited by OSHA and face proposed penalties totaling $21,000 after a 28 foot steel beam fell on an electrician at their job site resulting in his death. According to Eric Brooks, acting area director of the Bismarck, South Dakota OSHA office, Lee Jones & Son committed a total of three serious violations. The company has fifteen business days to dispute the citations.

The Fargo Better Business Bureau‘s website reports Lee Jones & Son Construction Company was incorporated in 1987. The company is a general contractor firm owned by Tim Jones and employs approximately twenty-five people.

The accident victim, Trevor Skarphol was an electrician with Scott’s Electric. Scott’s Electric is located in Wahpeton, North Dakota and served as a subcontractor on the project. Skarphol was thirty years old, and he left a wife and two boys.

Steel Erection Violations Violate OSHA’s General Duty Clause

The three serious violations were related to steel erection of columns and the use of anchor rods. OSHA alleges Lee Jones & Son violated the general duty clause which requires employers to provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards that cause death or physical harm. Two other citations are associated with OSHA rules for erecting steel. One violation involved OSHA guidelines requiring columns being evaluated by a competent person to determine whether guying or bracing is needed. The final citation dealt with anchor rods not being replaced, repaired, or modified without the approval of the project structural engineer of record.

The project site was the Sheyenne 9th Grade Center in West Fargo, in Cass County, North Dakota.  It is the fifth largest city in the state of North Dakota with a population of a little over 31,000. It is one of the state’s fastest growing cities. The accident occurred in the afternoon on a school day. Trevor Skarphol was pronounced dead at the scene.

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