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Oct. 16, 2014

 

Employees exposed to potentially fatal
fall hazards at Bridgeport, Connecticut, work site
Xtreme Restoration & Waterproofing LLC faces more than $70,000 in fines

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – New Haven roofing contractor employees were exposed to potentially fatal falls at a Bridgeport work site due to their employer's deliberate failure to supply required fall protection.

The Bridgeport Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found employees of Xtreme Restoration & Waterproofing LLC working without fall protection atop a two-story roof at a residential work site at 1040-1044 Stratford Ave. on June 16, 2014.

"Some workers lacked any fall protection, while others had safety harnesses that were not tied off to an independent anchorage point. This meant there was nothing to stop these workers from falling and suffering a deadly or disabling injury," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "These hazards were intensified by allowing workers to use a ladder with broken and damaged rungs to access the roof and by failing to train employees to recognize and protect themselves against these hazards."

OSHA cited Xtreme Restoration & Waterproofing for a willful violation for lack of fall protection. The company received a repeat violation for lack of fall protection training, which OSHA had cited the company for in 2011 at a Branford job site.

Two serious violations were cited for using a ladder with damaged and broken rungs to access the roof and for not training employees on ladder hazards and safeguards. The company faces $70,070 in fines for these violations.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Falls are the leading killer in construction work, responsible for the deaths of three Connecticut workers in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To raise awareness of fall hazards and safeguards among workers, employers and the public, OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

Xtreme Restoration & Waterproofing has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency's Bridgeport Area Office at 203-579-5581.

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 ensure 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.

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Media Contacts:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov
Andre J. Bowser, 617-565-2074, bowser.andre.j@dol.gov

Release Number: 14-1808-BOS


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