Region 5 News Release: 10-617-CHI
May 13, 2010
Contact: Scott Allen
US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $45,500
in penalties against The Spieker Co. for safety violations
PERRYSBURG Ohio - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited The Spieker Co., a general construction contractor based in Perrysburg, with $45,500 in proposed penalties for exposing workers to dangerous heights without proper fall protection.
Based on a March construction site inspection at a high school in Delta, Ohio, OSHA has cited the company with one willful violation with a proposed $44,000 penalty for failing to provide adequate fall protection for several workers who worked at heights in excess of 13 feet. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The employer also has been cited with one serious citation with a proposed $1,500 penalty for failing to protect workers from exposed reinforcing steel bars, an impalement hazard. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
"Employers must ensure any employee working at elevated heights has proper fall protection," said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi in Toledo, Ohio. "Falls continue to be the number one hazard killing or seriously maiming workers. Those who ignore safety regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."
The Spieker Co., which employs more than 50 employees, has been cited by OSHA with serious and repeat violations several times for fall protection and other safety violations during the past three years.
Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.