Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-71
Wed., May 2, 2001
Contact: Teresa Harrison
Phone: (912) 652-4393
OSHA AGAIN CITES DUBLIN, GA., CONSTRUCTION COMPANY; PROPOSES $68,600 IN PENALTIES
ATLANTA -- The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Dublin Construction Co. Thurs., April 26, for failure to protect workers from fall hazards, just three months after the company was cited for similar violations.
During a March 28 inspection, OSHA observed workers without safety harnesses installing plastic sheeting near an unguarded roof edge more than 29 feet from the ground. The agency cited Dublin Construction for a willful violation -- one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act -- and proposed a $63,000 penalty.
"Safety equipment was stored at the job site," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's Savannah area director, "but management officials wanted the sheeting installed quickly -- before rain could damage expensive drywall. And guardrails, another form of protection, had been removed from the roof edges so stucco could be applied to the side of the building."
A willful citation was issued, according to Harrison, because "officals knowingly exposed employees to fall hazards, the same hazards we cited them for in January."
OSHA also issued a serious citation with a $5,600 proposed penalty for failing to conduct regular safety inspections of the job site and equipment. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
According to OSHA, falls are a leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry and the numbers have been on the rise in Georgia. "In our last fiscal year, from Oct. 1999 through Sept. 2000, we recorded eight fatal falls in the state's construction industry," said Harrison. "That number jumped to ten in just the first six months of this fiscal year."
Dublin Construction Co. has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Savannah area office located at 450 Mall Boulevard, Suite J, Savannah, Ga., 31406; telephone: (912) 652-4393.