Region 2 News Release: NY 108
Thursday, January 21, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz, (212) 337-2319
WORKER FALLS 60 FEET FROM BRIDGE-PAINTING JOB IN GRAND ISLAND, NEW YORK; OSHA CITES LONG ISLAND-BASED CONTRACTOR FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS, PROPOSES $62,800 IN PENALTIES
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Dynamic Painting-Romano Enterprises, of 7 Willis Court, Hicksville, New York, and proposed penalties of $62,800 against the firm for one alleged willful, four alleged serious, and two alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until February 2 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director David E. Boyce, the action results from an investigation begun July 15 following an accident at the North Grand Island bridges on the Niagara River between Grand Island and Niagara Falls, New York, where the firm was performing lead abatement and painting. An employee fell approximately 60 feet from a catenary scaffold to the bottom of a steel containment platform below.
"Fortunately, the employee survived--but he's extremely lucky to be alive," Boyce said. "This accident was one-hundred percent preventable. It never would have happened had there been an adequate fall-protection plan implemented at this worksite. Worse, even after the employee fell, this employer continued to work without fall protection," he added.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's scaffolding standard by failing to ensure that employees were protected from falls through the use of personal arrest systems. The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $56,000.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
failure to protect employees from electrical shock with the use of ground fault circuit interrupters;
failure to provide fall protection on walking/working surfaces higher than eight feet.
failure to provide safe access to work levels higher than five feet.
failure to provide approved respiratory protection.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $6,800.
The employer was also cited for two alleged other-than-serious violation for failure to post no smoking signs in refueling areas and for failing to notify employees of the results of air monitoring conducted for lead.
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. 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 Buffalo area office, located at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, New York, telephone (716) 684-3891.
This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.
Voice phone: (212) 337-2319; TDD phone: 800-347-8029; OASAM TDD message referral phone number: 800-326-2577.