OSHA issues US$130,000 fine after on-site fatality

01 May 2008

A New York-based masonry, roofing and waterproofing contractor has been fined US$130,000 by OSHA for alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of safety standards after a worker fell 15 ft to his death from an unguarded scaffold on April 24, 2004, at a Long Island City jobsite.

Upon inspection by OSHA, three scaffolds on the site, including the one from which the worker fell, were found not to be fully planked and lacked guardrails or other fall prevention measures.

OSHA issued two willful citations, carrying US$112,000 in fines, for these fall hazards. It also determined that the company failed to train workers on scaffold hazards, did not provide ladders for safe access to different work levels and failed to properly ground electrical equipment. OSHA previously cited the company in 2002 and 2003 for substantially similar hazards at jobsites.

As a result, repeat citations were issued on the company for these items, with a further US$16,500 in fines being levied. OSHA also issued a further serious citation against the company, carrying a further US$1,500 fine, for not developing and implementing a respiratory protection program for employees.

The company has elected to contest its citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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