Region 2 News Release: NY 118
March 9, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, HOSPITAL CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED
SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $79,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Long Island College Hospital, 339-397 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, New York, and proposed penalties of $79,000 for two alleged repeat violations and 20 alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The hospital has until March 29 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Richard Mendelson, the action results from an investigation conducted from November 14 through March 7 following an employee complaint of unsafe conditions in the maintenance areas of the hospital's physical plant.
The hospital was cited for two alleged repeat violations, carrying a total proposed penalty of $25,000, for low headroom in a fire exit access hallway and door and for exposed electrical connections. 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. Long Island College Hospital was previously cited for these conditions in March, 2000.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to cover holes and openings in floors;
- failure to provide stairs where there was a break in floor level ranging from 24 inches to 42 inches;
- permitting wood and other material to be stored less than 18 inches from sprinkler head;
- failure to correct a fire door with a hole in it;
- failure to keep all fire exits unobstructed;
- failure to block abandoned elevator and dumbwaiter shaftways, which in the event of fire would carry smoke from floor to floor and act as chimneys;
- failure to post exit signs;
- failure to provide maintenance personnel with hard hats and to assess other personal protective equipment needs;
- failure to assess the confined-space hazard presented by crawlways containing wiring, lines for oxygen and other medical gasses, and other utilities;
- deficiencies in regard to elevators in the hospital's lockout-tagout program designed to prevent the accidental start-up of equipment being repaired or serviced;
- failure to maintain fire extinguishers in fully charged condition and in visible locations;
- using extension cords as permanent wiring.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $54,000.
A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Manhattan area office, located at 6 World Trade Center, room 881, New York, New York, telephone (212) 466-2481.
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