Concerns raised about safety of workers at courthouse - WSMV News 4

Concerns raised about safety of workers at Rutherford Co. courthouse

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It's a precarious perch, even if you're not afraid of heights. But is this setup at a county courthouse legal?

Mike Tiano is an electrician and says he knows a thing or two about OSHA requirements and codes. He's concerned about the work going on at the very top of the Rutherford County courthouse.

"You have an open scaffold with no guardrails, no midrail, no toe board. Anybody could just go right over the side," he said.

So Tiano turned the project in to TOSHA, and officials have launched an investigation.

Don Williams, the contractor doing the work at the courthouse, said TOSHA told him he's in compliance with state codes and could keep working the job as is.

"We've got safety ratchet straps at the bottom and the center and also at the top, plus, whenever we're on the ladders, we have safety lines with safety harnesses with a fall protection," Williams said.

Four ladders are each held on by three big straps nearly 100 feet off the ground.

Tiano said that's not enough.

"This is a county building; it's just unacceptable. We've got to protect our laborers and our workers better than this," he said.

Williams said his guys are safe.

"Any time we step out onto the decking, as long as we're tied off with safety lines, we're not violating any OSHA regulations," he said.

TOSHA said the investigation won't be complete for at least another month, but by then, this job will be over.

Williams is confident his crew is safe, but Tiano's not buying it.

"I would never get on that," Tiano said.

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