The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $78,100 in penalties after an inspection at the Pass Christian, Miss., manufacturing facility for Gulf Coast Pre-Stress Inc. revealed six serious and 10 repeat safety violations.

"Operating cranes with defects and allowing employees to work on unsafe scaffolds and gangways threatens the safety of the more than 300 people employed at this plant," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson Area Office.

OSHA found serious safety violations with employees operating cranes with broken, missing and leaking parts. Inspectors determined that monthly safety inspections were not being performed. Plywood planking on the scaffolds was damaged with cracks and splits, wood timbers lacked a guardrail system and compressed gas cylinders were not secured.

The company is being cited with repeat violations that include allowing employees to work around electrical hazards and on structural beams without guard rails. Safety equipment was missing or not being maintained properly, and an employee was sighted driving a front-end loader under a load suspended by a crane. The location had been cited for similar violations in 2007.

Gulf Coast Pre-Stress has 15 business days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.