Friday, April 11, 2008

WisDOT: Safety is not our concern

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's needs to re-think its attitude toward safety. Its willing and outrageous ignorance of safety issues did not, fortunately, help kill anyone in Oconomowoc, but with numerous major regional projects on the drawing table, that luck probably won't hold.

This should simply not be tolerated.

From the Daily Reporter:

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation doesn’t review contractors’ safety violation records when qualifying them for contracts.

That means the 36 Occupational Safety and Health Administration citations (PDF) Dorner Inc. paid since 1998 weren’t questioned when WisDOT hired the Luxemburg-based contractor to rebuild Wisconsin Avenue in Oconomowoc.

“That’s between OSHA and them (Dorner). They were the low bidder,” said Dennis Shook, WisDOT regional communication manager.

A leaking underground gas pipe sparked an explosion on Wisconsin Avenue on April 2 that blew up the First Baptist Church and two houses. Authorities have not determined if Dorner played a role in the accident.

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