Region 2 News Release
Thurs., Nov. 19, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Peekskill, NY, contractor for fall hazard at Peekskill Middle School construction site
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Kane Contracting Inc. for an alleged willful violation of safety standards during renovation work at the Peekskill Middle School located at 212 Ringold St. The contractor faces $42,000 in penalties following an inspection opened June 29 in response to a complaint.
OSHA found workers exposed to falls of up to 18 feet while using a scaffold to install sheetrock on the ceiling of the school's auditorium. The scaffold lacked guardrails, and fall protection equipment was neither supplied nor used. OSHA requires an effective form of fall protection be in place and in use whenever employees are working on scaffolds 10 feet or higher above the next level.
"Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and this employer well knows the requirement that workers be protected against this constant hazard," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown.
As a result, OSHA has issued Kane Construction one willful citation with the $42,000 fine, for the fall hazard. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard of employee safety and health.
"There is ample compliance assistance information available from this office and online that Westchester County employers can use to comply with OSHA standards and safeguard their workers," said Cortez. "Obtaining and effectively utilizing this information can also help employers avoid the human and financial costs that can result from workplace hazards."
"An additional means of helping ensure worker safety is for employers to establish an effective safety and health management system through which they and their employees work together to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Kane Contracting has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office; telephone 914-524-7510.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov. Detailed information on fall protection is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.