OSHA:"Shortcuts Caused Fatal Mishap"

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A Texas company says it will fight a proposed $12,000 federal fine in the fatal accident atop a 1,524-foot television tower near Bassett, Nebraska, last spring.

Federal investigators said last week a combination of safety shortcuts and the use of damaged equipment led to the Apr. 22 accident.

Tim Culpepper, 29, of Meridian, Mississippi, was killed by falling debris when a hoisting rope snapped atop the tower.

It took rescuers nearly eight hours to reach his body, suspended about 1,100 feet off the ground.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed fines against subcontractor East Mississippi Towers and against ProComm Communications of Groves, Texas, the contractor that hired them.

ProComm President Monte Davis said Tuesday it was unfair to fine his firm, because it had hired another company to do the work.

Davis said if his company was being held responsible, the general contractor that hired him, Nationwide Tower, also should be fined, as well as the owner of the tower, Nebraska Educational Television.