Structal Bridges Fined $7,000 for Death of Employee in June

Claremont — Structal Bridges, a division of Canam Steel Corporation, has been fined $7,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the wake of an accident at the River Road facility that killed a worker.

Scott Bates, 41, was killed June 8 when he was pinned under a trailer in the plant’s yard. A police report said Bates was taken to Valley Regional Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Rosemarie Ohar, Area Director for the OSHA office in Concord, issued the citation and penalty late last week.

In her brief, half page report, Ohar said Structal was in violation of Section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA act of 1970 by failing to “furnish a place of employment which was free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to death or physical harm … and that employees were exposed to the hazard of being struck by or crushed by the tires/wheels of a steerable trailer.”

The fatal accident happened in the yard at about 1:30 in the afternoon during the loading of a girder. Structal fabricates steel girders for bridges and transports them on long trailers.

Ohar states that the problem was corrected during an inspection. The company was instructed to “chock, restrain, or block the tires of the steerable trailer by limiting the vehicle’s movement” as one remedy.

A second recommendation from OSHA is to ensure the air brakes on the steerable trailer are always disconnected until loading is finished and the girder chained in place.

The report does not explain how the accident happened or how many employees were working with Bates.

There have been no other OSHA violations related to manufacturing since the Canam Group of Canada bought Eastern Bridge five years ago. Structal was fined $8,000 in 2011 but that had to do with a construction site on the property.

The Claremont plant referred calls to its Maryland office, which did not immediately return a call.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at