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Atlanta firm fined $13,200 in worker's death at Kia site

An Atlanta firm has been fined $13,200 in the January death of a construction worker at the Kia automotive site in West Point, Ga., a federal agency confirmed Monday.

Superior Rigging & Erecting Co. received the penalty July 11, according to documents supplied by Michael Wald, a spokesman with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The agency oversees the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which is responsible for investigating workplace accidents and health issues.

The Atlanta company was hit with three separate fines in the Jan. 29 death of Ollie Tate, 47, of Cartersville, Ga. The employee, who once lived in Columbus, died after a beam fell on his head at the Kia auto assembly plant under construction off Interstate 85 on the east side of West Point.

Superior Rigging is one of the subcontractors building the 2.4-million-square-foot factory, which is scheduled to open in November 2009. It will employ about 2,500 people.

OHSA classified all three violations as "serious." The agency said the slings used to lift large steel beams into place, and the way they were rigged, were not sufficient to keep them from ripping and falling. It also said a crane had not been secured properly on all sides.

There were two fines of $5,600 apiece and a third in the amount of $2,000, according to the citation documents. Two of the violations had to be corrected by July 30 and a third by Wednesday.

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