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Fine for teen’s fatal fall at job site is challenged

By RUSTY DENNEN

A Lorton-based contractor is contesting citations and fines leveled by a federal agency in connection with a construction accident last summer at Quantico that killed a Fredericksburg-area teen.

Kyle Ashton Sullivan, 19, of Spotsylvania County was killed Aug. 8  when he fell approximately 40 feet from scaffolding. He was working for J.D. Long Masonry Inc., a contractor working on housing at The Basic School on Marine Corps Base Quantico.

A base spokesman said at the time that Sullivan died at the scene after the fall. It was unclear how long Sullivan had been working for the company.

An investigation of the accident by the  Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that there were problems at the site.

It issued four citations for “serious” violations in December, according to OSHA records.

Those included: failure by the company to inspect chains on trucks; workers not properly tied off while  on scaffolding; inadequate training for those on scaffolding; and failure to inspect extender chains on a forklift.

OSHA proposed fines of $7,000 for each offense, for a total of $28,000.

The company contested the violations with an OSHA review commission in January. Since the case is still open, a spokeswoman for OSHA in Washington said, the violations could be changed or amended.

“We are contesting them,” Jack Connor, an attorney representing the construction company, said of the citations. He said the case is in the informal discussion stage.  “We are working with OSHA cooperatively.”

On its website, J.D. Long Masonry says it is one of the largest full-service masonry contractors in America, with clients ranging from Dunkin’ Donuts to Walmart.

Between 2002 and 2010, according to OSHA records, J.D. Long Masonry was cited with six serious violations at building sites in Maryland, Virginia and Washington.

One of those incidents involved a worker who fell in 2005.

Some of those citations were amended or dropped after the company contested them, according to the records.

Typically, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has jurisdiction over such incidents. But since Sullivan died on a military base, OSHA had jurisdiction. The case was handled by the agency’s Norfolk office.

Sullivan was a graduate of Orange County High School, where  he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps and the school’s anglers team.

He was the son of Stanley and Crystal Sullivan.

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431

rdennen@freelancestar.com

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/03/21/fine-for-teens-fatal-fall-at-job-site-is-challenged/

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