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Convention Center : OSHA to Inspect Project After Fall Hurts Worker

Times Staff Writer

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a thorough inspection of the Port District’s convention center construction site because of a worker’s fall there Wednesday afternoon, said John Hermanson, area director of OSHA.

“We just did a complete inspection in September and are investigating yesterday’s accident,” Hermanson said Thursday. “We’re going to do another wall-to-wall inspection.”

Lawrence Rozolski, 45, fell 15 feet from a concrete pillar to the fourth story of the construction site on Harbor Drive at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after he lost his footing on some scaffolding, San Diego Fire Department officials said.

Rozolski was in fair condition Thursday night with leg and wrist injuries at UC San Diego Medical Center.

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Rozolski was installing arches on the north side of the building when he fell, said Billy Crockett, project manager for Fluor Constructors Inc., the Port District’s independent construction management firm. The scaffolding on which Rozolski was working was not properly secured, Crockett said.

He said he has been unhappy with the safety precautions of Tutor-Saliba Perini, the company handling the contracting at the site. “We have too many of these little accidents happening,” Crockett said. “The contractor needs to have a safety man on a job this big. They just have a part-time man.”

Besides one fatality at the construction site in February, 1988, the huge project’s safety record has “not been too bad,” Hermanson said. “Any fatalities are too many,” he said, but adeed that the convention center is “a big construction site.”

Construction sites are usually inspected every six months, Hermanson said, because of the changing conditions of the sites.

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“We have found what we consider to be apparent violations,” Hermanson added. After the September inspection, OSHA issued 10 citations for serious violations and 12 citations for minor violations. Those violations have since been corrected, Hermanson said.

Serious violations include disregarding safety standards of scaffolding, guard rails, floor openings and electrical wiring that could cause physical harm or death to an employee. They usually result in monetary penalties of up to $1,000 per violation, Hermanson said.


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