Region 2 News Release: NY 106
Wednesday, January 20, 1999
Contact: Chester J. Fultz, (212) 337-2319
OSHA CITES MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK, SCAFFOLD COMPANY
FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS IN JULY 21 SCAFFOLDING COLLAPSE
AT TIMES SQUARE CONSTRUCTION SITE
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Universal Builders' Supply, Inc., of 216 South Terrace Avenue, Mount Vernon, New York, and proposed penalties of $26,000 against the firm for four alleged serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until February 10 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Robert Kulick, the action results from an investigation begun July 21, 1998, following an accident at Broadway and 43rd Street in Manhattan, in which scaffolding being used in the construction of the 4 Times Square Conde Nast building collapsed. A resident of the 14-story Woodstock Hotel, on the opposite side of 43rd Street, was killed when a section of the elevator tower went through the hotel's roof, and 12 workers on the building site received minor injuries.
OSHA's responsibility following a workplace accident is to identify safety violations under the Occupational and Health Act. Investigations into the causes of the incident are being conducted by the New York City Buildings Department and other agencies.
OSHA cited the employer for the following alleged serious violations:
failure to ensure that mast tower bolts were maintained for tightness;
failure to provide scaffold components designed for four times the maximum intended load;
failure to provide scaffold components designed by a registered professional engineer;
failure to provide all necessary scaffold bracing.
On December 23, OSHA cited Universal Builders Supply for three alleged serious violations in connection with an accident at the same site on June 26, in which a worker was killed by a descending hoist. The violations cited included failure to properly guard the hoist shaft and failure to shut down the hoist when employees worked in or near the shaft. The company has contested the citations, which carry total proposed penalties of $9,000.
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.
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.