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News Release

Federal investigators find bridge contractor fails to protect employees from falls of nearly 20 feet while working on I-77 overpass

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio – For the second time in two years, federal safety inspectors have found Shelly & Sands Inc. – a large regional highway construction company – exposing its workers to the serious and sometimes fatal risk of falls by allowing them to climb over guardrails of an aerial lift onto a highway overpass.

U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors saw workers without fall protection climb off the lift onto bridge beams 20 feet above Interstate 77 in Cambridge. It was the second time in two years that the agency has found the company allowing employees to work without protective equipment. In 2014, OSHA issued citations for similar violations at a Columbus work site.

On Nov. 2, 2016, OSHA cited the company for two repeated safety violations. The agency has proposed penalties of $137,182, as a result of the Aug. 9, 2016, inspection.

“We were disheartened to find that Shelly & Sands management continues to allow workers to climb over guardrails and on top of beams without safety equipment to protect them from serious injury and death,” said Larry Johnson, area director of OSHA’s Columbus office. “This company must take immediate action to protect workers on its job sites by providing training, procedures and protective equipment.”

Falls account for 40 percent of all work-related construction industry deaths.

During its investigation OSHA also observed workers installing walers, which are used to support construction forms under stress, exposed to 17 foot falls.

View the current citations here.

Based in Zaneville, Shelly & Sands Inc. and its affiliated companies – Mar-Zane Materials Division and Mar-Zane Laboratory in Zanesville; S&S Terminal in Rayland; and Kelly Paving, Inc. in Williamstown, West Virginia –  serves eight major markets in three states and is one of Ohio’s leading road paving companies. Mar-Zane Materials has 23 asphalt and two concrete plants producing more than three million asphalt tons and over 200,000 cubic yards of concrete annually. Additionally, Shelly & Sands has nine aggregate operations with extensive reserves numbering in the thousands of acres.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s

toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Columbus Area Office at (614) 469-5582.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
November 10, 2016
Release Number
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Contact: Rhonda Burke
Phone Number