Date: Wed., Nov. 19, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
HARTFORD, Conn. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Atlas Restoration LLC for allegedly exposing employees to falls of 21 feet at a West Hartford, Conn., worksite. The Wolcott, Conn., roofing contractor faces a total of $77,000 in penalties.
OSHA began its inspection June 5 after an agency inspector observed employees working on the roof at 1470 Asylum Ave. without apparent fall protection. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in place and in use whenever employees work at heights of 6 feet or more.
"Working without fall protection is like walking a tightrope blindfolded in that one slip or misstep can swiftly result in death or disabling injuries," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "While no falls occurred this time, these hazards are particularly disturbing since this employer previously has been cited for similar conditions at other jobsites."
Specifically, OSHA issued Atlas Restoration two repeat citations, with $49,000 in proposed penalties, for the lack of fall protection, improperly erected scaffolding, and failing to train employees in fall and ladder hazards. OSHA cited the company in 2006 and 2007 for fall hazards at jobsites in New Milford, Danbury and Hamden, Conn., and in 2007 for scaffolding hazards at a Hamden worksite.
As a result of this latest inspection, OSHA also issued Atlas four serious citations, with $28,000 in penalties, for an improperly installed and anchored fall protection system, improperly secured roof bracket anchors, scaffold platforms that did not safely overlap and allowing an employee to climb an extension ladder while carrying roofing materials and a rope.
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 fall protection information is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html and scaffold safety information is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
Atlas Restoration has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to meet with OSHA or to contest them to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Hartford Area Office; telephone 860-240-3152.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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