Region 2 News Release: NY 137
May 8, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK, ELECTRIC POWER FIRM CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $126,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited C.H. Resources, 5300 Frontier Road, Niagara Falls New York, and proposed penalties of $126,000 against the firm for two alleged willful violations of OSHA standards. The company has until May 25 to contest the citations.
The action results from an investigation following an accident on November 16 in which an employee was seriously injured when he fell about 16 feet from an unguarded platform, according to OSHA area director David Boyce. The firm, a subsidiary of Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, operates a coal-fired electrical co-generation facility employing about 1,200 workers.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's fall protection standard by failing to provide fall protection on a platform higher than six feet and failing to provide a ladder or the equivalent, which is required whenever there is a break in elevation greater than 19 inches. Each willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $63,000.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations.
"OSHA is committed to stringent enforcement in those workplaces where employers willfully violate OSHA standards," Boyce said. "It is important for employers to know that in cases such as this, we will take aggressive enforcement action so that others are put on notice that disregard for employee safety and health is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated."
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Buffalo area office, located at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, New York, telephone (716) 684-3891.
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