WASHINGTON, D.C. — The death of a volunteer firefighter who responded to an explosion and fire of a gas line at a Wisconsin work site has led the federal government to cite a Kansas and a Michigan contractor.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Bear Communications LLC and V C Tech did not attempt to locate underground utilities before excavation work began at a site in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. OSHA found that both contractors failed to use the "local one-call system" to contact the underground utility owners to locate the utilities that resulted in the firefighter's death.
“Excavators are required to train their employees on procedures for determining the location of underground utilities, and contact the utility company before opening an excavation” said OSHA Madison Office area director Chad Greenwood in a statement.
Each company received a "serious safety violation" and was fined $12,934 each, OSHA said. The companies have 15 days from receiving the citations to comply, contest or request a conference on the matter, according to OSHA.