Jan. 29, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
ALBANY, N.Y. -- An Orange County steel erection contractor faces a total of $77,100 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for allegedly exposing its employees to fatal fall hazards at a Dutchess County construction site.
Gabriel Steel Erectors Inc. of Rock Tavern was cited for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a supermarket construction site on Stringham Road in Lagrangeville following an OSHA inspection that began Aug. 3, 2006. OSHA found employees exposed to falls of 23 feet while welding and placing bundles of steel decking on upper levels of the building's framework, and to falls of 17 feet while entering or working on a boom lift. Fall protection was not used in either case.
"Falls are the number one killer in construction," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's area director in Albany. "This employer knew these employees required fall protection, yet elected not to ensure the use of this basic, common sense and legally-required safeguard."
As a result, OSHA issued two willful citations, carrying $75,000 in proposed fines, for these conditions. 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.
OSHA also issued three serious citations to the company, with $2,100 in proposed fines, for exposing employees to fall and struck-by hazards due to the improper placement of steel decking and to fall hazards from an overloaded boom lift. 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.
Detailed information on structural steel erection, including an interactive e-Tool, is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/doc/steelerection/index.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and fines to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's area office in Albany, located at 401 New Karner Road, Suite 300, telephone: (518) 464-4338.
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 OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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. The U.S. Department of Labor 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.