Contractors Fined Over Subway Work

A sweeping inspection of Metro Rail subway construction conditions found 131 alleged health and safety violations that together carry fines of more than $250,000, according to a final report Tuesday released by Cal/OSHA.

In a joint weeklong audit by state and federal occupational safety agencies last month, inspectors reported inadequate shoring around trenches and numerous electrical hazards.

They also found numerous cigarette butts in a tunnel that must be continuously monitored for methane and hydrogen sulfide--both highly combustible gases.

The penalties total $288,470, more than half of that ($164,000) attributed to Shea-Kiewit-Kenny, one of the subway project's biggest contractors. Tutor-Salibi-Perini, another major Metro Rail contractor, was ordered to pay $59,000. The firms can appeal the fines.

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