Corp of Engineers issues notice of unsafe conditions at Soo Locks

Michigan workers know that unsafe working conditions at any job site are an invitation for an injury. Dangerous conditions must be reported to management and taken care of immediately in order to prevent an industrial injury. However, the US Army Corp of Engineers has just been cited for safety violations at a historic site in Michigan.

Recently, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety Health Administration conducted an inspection at the Corp of Engineers’ Soo Locks site, which is located at the Saint Lawrence Seaway. After the visit, OSHA wound up issuing a notice of unsafe working conditions. The Corp was charged with 21 serious and two repeat safety violations. The Corp of Engineers is a component of the Department of Defense.

According to an OSHA news release, workers at the historic Soo Locks site who operated a lattice boom crawler and a barge-mounted crane were in danger from extremely heavy loads because the Corp of engineers still had not repaired the crane after a report was issued in September of 2014 indicating the need for repair. OSHA also stated that workers at the site faced confined space hazards while accessing a service tunnel.

OSHA cited the Corp for additional violations as well. Some of these included failing to provide handrails for stairways, failing to store gas cylinders properly, failing to provide training on the use of fire extinguishers and failing to provide proper respiratory protection for workers at the site. Since the Corp of Engineers comes under federal jurisdiction, OSHA cannot impose penalties on it. The Corp now has 15 days to respond to the violations.

A workplace injury can lead to lost work days and lost wages. Any Michigan worker who has been injured on the job may want to speak with a work injury attorney after receiving the proper medical care in order to find out what legal options are available to them.

Source:, “Regional news release – region 5,” Sep. 21, 2015