Jan. 30, 2015
For the third time, OSHA finds roofing contractor
allows fatal fall hazards at school job site
AMB Construction faces $113,300 in fines for repeated violations
TARRYTOWN, New York – Employees of a Brooklyn-based commercial and residential roofing contractor faced the threat of deadly or disabling falls as they replaced the 20,000-square-foot roof of Westchester County's Bedford Hills Elementary School, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found.
As a result, OSHA has cited AMB Construction Inc. for 14 violations of workplace safety standards with proposed fines of $113,300. OSHA's investigation began in August 2014 after an OSHA inspector saw roofers working without proper fall protection.
This is the third time AMB Construction has been cited for similar violations. OSHA found workers at risk in 2010 and 2011 at work sites in Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut.
"The sizable fines proposed here reflect this employer's prior history and clear knowledge of their existence coupled with the gravity of these hazards," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown. "Falls are among the top four hazards in construction work likely to injure or kill employees. Dangers can be prevented by employers with basic, common-sense and legally required safeguards, such as providing fall protection and effective training to help workers recognize and avoid fall hazards. That was not the case here."
Inspectors found that AMB Construction's employees worked from various unprotected roof pitches and an aerial lift that exposed them to fall hazards ranging from 16 to 25 feet. Some of the workers performed their jobs without the use of fall protection, while others used ineffective fall protection systems. OSHA cited AMB Construction for not providing employees with fall protection training. Knowing that fall protection was required, the contractor allowed its employees to work from an aerial lift without the required gear.
In New York, OSHA conducted 19 fall-related fatality inspections in 2013 and 24 in 2014-a 26 percent increase. To halt this alarming increase in deaths from falls, the agency continues to address fall hazards through its Local Emphasis Program. OSHA has focused inspections on workplaces where fall hazards have been observed and has conducted an ongoing Fall Prevention campaign.
AMB Construction has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
View the citations here*.
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 Tarrytown Area Office at 914-524-7510.
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.
Release Number: 15-85-BOS
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.