OSHA complaints filed against Interstate-77 contractor

A formal complaint has been filed against the contractor working on the Interstate-77 toll lane project. FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with the woman who filed the complaint with OSHA. 

A woman from Cornelius is hoping to get results now that she has filed a formal complaint with OSHA about the possible violations. FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with her on Monday along with a representative of the construction company who explained what is being done about the possible safety issues. 

Related: OSHA violations on I-77?

"We just sent you an email statement," the email read at 2:40 p.m. Monday. 

Sayra Brynn with Sugar Creek Construction sent the email statement Monday, just six minutes before meeting with FOX 46 Charlotte. This - after our crew emailed both Friday and Monday, and left a voicemail. It took FOX 46 showing up at Sugar Creek Construction's door to get an answer about the possible OSHA violations in the I-77 work zone. 

"Sugar Creek Construction and I-77 Mobility Partners take the safety of our workers and the traveling public very seriously," Brynn said. 

FOX 46 Charlotte asked specifically about the dust clouds, the workers not wearing hard hats, and the machine door left open during operation. Brynn declined to answer the station's questions or do an interview. 

FOX 46 Charlotte also followed up with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. On Friday, a spokesperson said they would meet with the contractor about the safety issues. 

On Monday they released a statement stating, "There is daily communication among NCDOT and contractors to discuss a range of safety topics, including proper use of hard hats and equipment. As you reported in your story, a majority of what you presented were not OSHA violations. Based on your photo, we cannot tell if the machine was in operation at the time. Additionally, OSHA guidelines do not require hard hats be worn in this instance. The picture of the dust cloud was taken several months ago, and it was addressed at that time. We are not aware of any more recent issues with this."

In the meantime, Michelle Ferlauto with Lake Norman Safety Partnership said she filed a formal complaint with PSHA in hopes of speaking an investigation into safety in the work zone. 

"I've seen how his project has been run from a public safety standard. I have very little reason to believe that if they hold the public standard very low, that they would hold their employee safety standard any higher than that, and that's concerning," Ferlauto said. 

FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to the local OSHA office to see if they will in fact investigate the I-77 construction zone. Our station hasn't heard back yet. If there is an investigation, that information will be sent to the Lake Norman Safety Partnership and our station will share that information with viewers. 

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