An Idaho construction company facing $20,000 in fines from OSHA over a fire at J.R. Simplot Co.’s new Boise headquarters will not contest the charges, according to the company’s owner.
Jack McNamara, owner of Donahue McNamara Steel, said the company doesn’t dispute the veracity of safety violations contributing to the July incident, in which a fire broke out on a hydraulic lift as two workers were welding.
“It is true, although we were doing everything we could to comply with OSHA rules,” McNamara said. “But things went wrong, and we’ve certainly implemented additional safeguards.”
According to an OSHA inspection, the Sun Valley-based company faces a total $20,484 in proposed fines for three violations, each deemed “serious.”
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One violation alleges that the company welded, cut or heated objects without moving either the objects themselves or any nearby fire hazards to a safe area. Reports said a safety blanket caught fire as two welders worked on the sixth floor of the building along Front Street.
A second violation alleges that suitable fire extinguishing equipment was not immediately available in the work area. The third violation claims that workers were not properly protected by respirators.
At the time of the incident, the Boise Fire Department said the two workers escaped injury by climbing out of the lift cage and onto a floor of the building as other employees used a fire extinguisher to battle the flames.