Fatal work injury that killed Jeffrey Shannon was preventable, OSHA cites AECOM Technical Services

Jeffrey Shannon’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings of federal OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer, AECOM Technical Services dba Urs Corporation

The 49 year-old was working in March 2015 at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County, PA. The facility was being converted from an oil refinery to a natural gas storage and processing plant. AECOM was providing engineering and site preparation for Sunoco. The initial press reported indicated that Shannon was struck by a 1,200 foot pylon. I wrote about the incident shortly after it was reported by local press.

Inspectors with federal OSHA conducted an inspection at the site where Shannon died and assessed AECOM’s safety  practices and policies. The agency recently issued citations to AECOM for two serious violations and proposed a $14,000 penalty. The company was cited for failing to suspend the pile driving operation when tops were being cut off of already driven pile (1926.603(c)(5)) and inadequate safety training (1926.21(b)(2)).

When some local press initially reported Jeffrey Shannon’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, Shannon’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no "accident."

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