Region 2 News Release: NY 149
May 28, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
PHONE : 212-337-2319
OSHA CITES ELEVATOR CONTRACTOR FOR ALLEGED REPEAT SAFETY VIOLATIONS AFTER WORKER DIES IN WHITESTONE, NEW YORK, FALL; $80,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Montgomery Kone, Inc., 1500 Broadway, New York, New York, and proposed penalties of $80,000 against the firm for two alleged repeat violations, one alleged serious violation, and one alleged other-than-serious violation of OSHA standards. The company has until June 16 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Anthony J. DeSiervi, the action results from an investigation begun on January 12 after OSHA was notified of the death of a worker injured in an accident that occurred on December 4, 1998 in Whitestone, New York. Elevator mechanic Donald Spillman, 54, of Coram, New York, was injured in a 28-foot fall in an elevator shaft when the planking on which he was working collapsed. Spillman was working on the construction of a multi-screen cinema complex at 30-02 Whitestone Expressway, Whitestone, New York, where Montgomery Kone was engaged in the installation of escalators and an elevator.
OSHA cited the firm for two alleged repeat violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $75,000 for failing to provide required fall protection and failing to train employees in the correct procedures for erecting, inspecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection system.
A repeat violation is one for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Montgomery Kone, which has corporate headquarters in Moline, Illinois, was previously cited for these conditions in February, 1998, in Biloxi, Mississippi; July, 1997 in Englewood, Colorado; and March, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Our inspection found serious deficiencies in this employer's fall protection program," DeSiervi said. "There is no excuse for Montgomery Kone's repeatedly violating OSHA fall protection standards and failing to provide fall protection training. This employer was well aware of the hazardous nature of elevator construction, had programs in place to address fall protection hazards, and yet took no action to protect the workers at this site."
In addition to the repeat violations, Montgomery Kone also was cited for an alleged serious violation, with a $5,000 proposed penalty, for failing to determine the structural integrity of surfaces on which employees were standing, as well as an alleged other-than-serious violation for failing to have a written certification record of employee training.
A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Bayside area office, located at 42-40 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, New York, telephone (718) 279-9060.
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