KABC-TV fined for Alpert Accident

KABC-TV was hit with $30,000 in fines as a result of the May accident that critically injured reporter Adrienne Alpert, when the mast on the ENG truck in which was riding struck electrical wires.

The station said it is reviewing the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines-the largest ever levied by such an agency, according to safety expert Mark Bell-and reiterated its regret over Alpert's injuries and its commitment "as always ... to ensuring the safety of our staff."

The largest of the citations, $25,000, was for failing to maintain proper clearance when the 40-foot mast went up. Other citations say training and warning signs inside the truck were inadequate.

The station said it has added signs within its trucks and has added training sessions. Bell, who lectures and writes about ENG van safety, said that OSHA fines are frequently reduced through appeals and through compliance. "The fines are not meant to be punitive," he said. "The station is already hurt by the accident both financially and by loss of morale, by the loss of an employee."

Meanwhile, KABC-TV said Alpert, who was badly burned and lost parts of an arm and leg, continues to recuperate at a rehabilitation facility.