People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed May 23, 2012
520 Bridge Workers Caught Drinking On The Job
KOMO 4 Television broadcast a story showing workers on the 520 Bridge construction project drinking on the job. Washington State Department of Transportation is launching an investigation looking into the details.
KOMO’s story caught employees walking into work carrying two twelve packs of beer on a Friday afternoon. Hidden cameras also showed several workers swigging back bottles of beer at their desks, allegedly during work hours.
The workers are employees of KGM, a joint venture firm of Kiewit, General and Manson. The company won the bid to design and build the 520 floating bridge. The contract is worth $586 million.
WSDOT Communications Director Steve Pierce says the company is highly regarded. He isn’t worried about the quality of their work.
Pierce: This is an international firm that went through a very stringent competitive bid process to get this contract. I mean they are world renowned for their floating bridge expertise, so we stand committed certainly to the contract we have signed and we’re convinced they are very quality firm that will do quality work on the floating bridge.
He also says there’s no need to worry about production errors made by tipsy workers.
Pierce: There’s no question that it would affect something about the floating bridge project because there are just too many layers to assure the product and the quality of it.
Pierce says there were no State employees caught drinking on camera.
Both WSDOT and KGM are launching investigations to find out exactly what happened.
Drinking on the job is against company policy for both organizations.
KGM will be responsible for reprimanding its workers.
The State is not responsible for punishing contract employees.
The head of WSDOT, Secretary Paula Hammond, sent an email out to all state DOT workers reminding them not to drink on the job.
Copyright 2012 KUOW