CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration has issued citations to Hi-Tech Electric Inc. for seven "serious" safety violations at the Courtyard by Marriott construction site on Kanawha Boulevard in downtown Charleston.
OSHA ordered Hi-Tech to pay $9,000 in fines for those violations. The citations, issued July 26, were based on inspections at the worksite between May 7 and 13.
Based in Ashland, Ky., Hi-Tech Electric employs non-union employees under its contract with VIM Inc., the main developer at the hotel-construction site, located near the intersection of the Elk and Kanawha rivers.
Tom Fuller, a project manager at the company's Ashland offices, would not comment.
"That would be something to go through the owner. He is not in the office right now. He is not in here a whole lot. He has a telephone number, but you're not getting that," Fuller said. He also would not provide the owner's name.
Robert Layman, president of Hi-Tech Electric, did not return a telephone message left for him with Fuller. Layman also did not respond to written questions sent to his email address on Hi-Tech's website.
The OSHA violations included:
* "Employees were not wearing protective gloves ... when using the Cantax Conduit Solvent Cement that is a skin irritant" that can cause dermatitis.
* "Employees were not provided safety glasses on site while working close to trench digging operations."
The federal citations focused on safety hazards related to laying pipe in deep and narrow dirt trenches:
* There were "employees working in a vertical walled trench, with a maximum depth of 77 inches, with no protective system in place to prevent a cave-in."
* "The employer did not provide a safe means of egress at least every 25 feet for employees working in a trench that was 77 inches deep."