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OSHA investigation into last year’s Stevedoring accident now closed

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has closed the inspection and investigation into an industrial accident last year at the Port of Pago Pago that claimed the lives of two male employees of Peter E. Reid Stevedoring after a final penalty of just over $18,000 was imposed.

OSHA public records, as of yesterday morning, indicated the status of this case as “closed”. An “accident investigation summary”, of the case, in public records states that, at 8:a.m. on April 10, 2021, Employee #1 and Employee #2 “started to remove the 28 bolts required to remove two multipiece rimmed forklift tires from a forklift.”

“Neither of the tires were deflated before the employees started removing the bolts. After most of the bolts had been removed, the tires exploded out of the axel striking and killing both Employee #1 and Employee #2,” according to the summary, which didn’t identify the male employees by name.

The summary of the incident also states that the “Current Penalty” totals $18,432 — for three violations — and this was abated on Sept. 24. The online public record shows that the case was inspected by the federal agency’s Honolulu area office, which oversees American Samoa.

USDOL spokesman Jose Carnevali of the USDOL Region 9, told Samoa News last October that the “citation became a final order” on Sept. 21, and “the penalty was paid.”

“The abatement for the three hazards [violations] identified was provided and the inspection will be closed when the company completes 30-hours of training that it agreed to attend as part of enhanced settlement terms in an Informal Settlement Agreement,” Carnevali said.

Additionally, OSHA granted an extension to the company to complete the 30-hour training to Oct. 29.

And the investigation was conducted remotely by OSHA, with some assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, which helped secure the scene and provide information about the conditions of the site at the time of the incident.

(See Samoa News edition Oct. 27, 2021 for more details)