Thursday, December 21, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Dab Masonry LLC, a Plainville, Conn.-based masonry contractor, has been cited by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 15 alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of safety standards during construction of a pharmacy at 2 Shaker Road in Enfield, Conn. OSHA has proposed $220,000 in fines for numerous scaffolding and fall hazards.
"Virtually every hazard identified during this inspection exposed employees to potentially fatal or disabling falls," said C. William Freeman, III, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "The large fines proposed here reflect the seriousness of the cited conditions, employer knowledge of hazards and this employer's history of prior violations."
OSHA's inspection found that a scaffold was missing its top, middle and end rails and that scaffold frames, rather than ladders, were being used to access upper levels, two conditions that exposed employees to fall hazards of 12 to 20 feet. OSHA issued two willful citations and proposed $140,000 in fines for these items. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Four repeat citations, carrying $40,000 in proposed fines, were issued for hazards similar to those cited by OSHA during inspections of Dab Masonry jobsites in Hartford and Plainville in 2004. These include scaffolds not protected against tip over, damaged scaffold planks, missing scaffold planks and an employee working without fall protection.
Nine serious citations also were issued for an improperly erected scaffold, scaffold not braced against swaying, scaffold planks of inadequate length, no falling object protection and ladder defects. Proposed fines for these items total $40,000. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Freeman noted that detailed information on identifying and preventing scaffold hazards, including an interactive scaffolding e-tool, is available online at www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation 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 healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure 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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.