Region 1 News Release: 11-408-BOS/BOS 2011-107
March 24, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA urges employers to guard against
fall hazards after citing employer at Danvers, Mass., jobsite
A.C. Castle Construction faces nearly $61,000 in fines for 21 citation
ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. of Danvers for allegedly exposing employees to fall and electrocution hazards at a residential worksite located at 5 Collins St., in the same town. The roofing contractor faces a total of $60,800 in proposed fines for 21 repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards. OSHA is calling upon employers in Essex and Middlesex counties to be cognizant of fall hazards and safeguards, and to take proper precautions.
"These citations address basic construction safety hazards that should not have existed in the first place. They should be of vital concern to all employers whose workers labor at heights and near power lines," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Essex and Middlesex counties. "Employers should take the time to perform a spring tuneup, including reviewing their safety programs, equipment, employee training and applicable OSHA regulations to ensure that their workers are effectively protected against falls and other hazards."
OSHA opened its inspection of A.C. Castle Construction upon observing employees working without fall protection on the building's roof and on a ladder jack scaffold, exposing them to falls of nearly 19 feet. Additional fall hazards stemmed from employees using or working on damaged, unsecured, misused or inadequate ladders.
Electrocution and electric shock hazards stemmed from employees working within 3 feet of an energized power line, using ladders that lacked nonconductive siderails and from ungrounded or frayed power cords. Employees also lacked head, eye and foot protection, and the worksite was not inspected by a competent person who would have identified and corrected such hazardous conditions.
As a result of its inspection, OSHA issued A.C. Castle Construction three repeat citations with $15,200 in fines for the rooftop and unsecured ladder fall hazards, and the lack of head protection. Eighteen serious citations with $45,600 in fines were issued for the remaining hazards. The repeat citations were based on OSHA having cited the employer in December 2009 for similar hazards at a Hamilton worksite. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Detailed information on hazards and safeguards associated with construction work and scaffold use is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet 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 Andover Area Office; telephone 978-837-4460. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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 ensure 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.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.