Many Minnesota and Wisconsin residents alike have been watching the progress of the St. Croix Crossing bridge. The project hit a serious challenge when it was discovered that some engineering recommendations had been disregarded. This left the contractors with a dilemma as they no longer had the ability to bring in the needed equipment to complete some of the required work on a section of the bridge referred to as Pier 4.
While no safety violations have been recorded pertaining to the St. Croix Crossing bridge project specifically, several have been identified against Lunda Construction, the primary contractor on the St. Croix Crossing bridge. Reports indicate that since 2012, Lunda has experienced three accidents in which workers have died. The most recent involved the death of an 18-year-old worker on a bridge near Duluth, resulting in a fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of more than $100,000. An OSHA representative explains that fines over $100,000 are not common and generally indicate highly serious matters. The man’s death was attributed to the blatant lack of worker training, something expressly required.
In the spring of this year, Lunda Construction was added to OHSA’s list of companies deemed “severe violators”. Lunda is one of only about 750 companies to be added to the list in the last six years. One man who has been working on the St. Croix Crossing bridge has expressed concerns about what he feels is a lack of emphasis on safety for the project.
Construction workers know that their jobs are dangerous yet they should always be able to trust that their employers are doing everything possible to keep them safe. When safety is set aside and accidents happen, employees may want to talk with a lawyer.
Source: KSTP ABC5, “St. Croix Crossing Contractor Considered ‘Severe Violator’ of OSHA Regulations,” August 19, 2016