Region 1 News Release: 10-716-BOS/BOS 2010-221
Wed., May 26, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA proposes more than $61,000 in fines against
Weymouth, Mass., contractor after worker falls 30 feet at Brookline, Mass., site
BRAINTREE, Mass. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Misdea Enterprises LLC, a Weymouth, Mass., masonry contractor, for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards after an employee fell 30 feet while climbing a scaffold at a jobsite located on Summit Street in Brookline, Mass. The company faces a total of $61,600 in proposed fines.
OSHA's inspection found that the scaffold lacked a ladder or other safe means of accessing its upper levels and the workers were not supplied with fall protection while working on the scaffold. Employers must provide fall protection for each employee on a scaffold more than 10 feet above a lower level.
These conditions resulted in OSHA issuing two willful citations, with $56,000 in proposed fines, against the masonry company. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
"Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work, and employers must take all required steps to prevent and minimize this potentially deadly hazard," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. "Safe working conditions must not and can never be a matter of luck."
In addition, OSHA determined that the scaffold was not fully planked, which created an additional fall hazard. Furthermore, the agency found that workers were threatened by electrocution, since the scaffold was located less than 18 inches from uninsulated and energized power lines. These conditions resulted in two serious citations with $5,600 in fines. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
Detailed information on construction fall and scaffolding hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/construction.html.
Misdea Enterprises has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Braintree Area Office; telephone 617-565-6924.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.