Fri., Feb. 29, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Athens, Ga.-based contractor now faces $86,000 in fines in addition to $40,000 levied in November 2007
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Georgia-based contractor, cited in November 2007 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following a fatal Oct. 3, 2007, fall at a Niagara Falls, N.Y., hotel construction site, now faces $86,000 in additional fines for failing to correct hazards cited during an earlier OSHA inspection and for a new fall hazard.
OSHA first cited and fined DEC Management $2,100 in August 2007 for failing to implement a fall protection program and provide fall protection training to employees working on the project at 1011 Niagara Falls Blvd. A follow-up inspection to verify correction of those hazards found that they had not been corrected. As a result, OSHA now has issued the company two failure to abate notices carrying $84,000 in proposed fines.
The follow-up inspection also identified a new fall hazard: employees exposed to 16-foot falls from a second floor deck. This finding resulted in the issuance of one serious citation with a $2,000 proposed fine. 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.
"One life already has been lost in a fall at this jobsite," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "This employer's ongoing failure to supply and ensure basic safeguards leaves these employees continually exposed to the number-one killer in construction work."
On Nov. 8, 2007, OSHA cited and fined DEC Management $40,000 for a variety of fall hazards in connection with the Oct. 3 accident in which one employee was killed and another was injured when the pre-cast concrete panel on which they were standing shifted and fell 25 feet to the ground. An inspection to verify correction of the hazards cited during that inspection was opened on Jan. 16, 2008, and is ongoing.
A timeline of these OSHA inspections and resulting citations and penalties appears on Page 2 of this release.
DEC Management has 15 business days from receipt of its latest citations and fines to respond. All the inspections have been conducted by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office (telephone 716-551-3053).
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 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.
Timeline of Inspections and Resulting Citations and Penalties
- Aug. 23, 2007 ¿ OSHA opens a planned inspection of DEC Management.
- Aug. 29, 2007 ¿ OSHA issues two serious citations for failing to implement a fall protection program and provide fall protection training to employees. The agency fines DEC Management $2,100.
- Oct. 3, 2007 ¿ OSHA opens an inspection in response to a fatal fall at the jobsite.
- Nov. 8, 2007 ¿ OSHA issues DEC Management six serious citations for a variety of fall hazards in connection with the fatality. The agency fines the company $40,000.
- Nov. 21, 2007 ¿ OSHA opens a follow-up inspection to verify correction of hazards cited during the August inspection.
- Jan. 16, 2008 ¿ OSHA opens a second follow-up inspection to verify correction of hazards cited during the fatality inspection. This inspection is ongoing.
- Feb. 19, 2008 ¿ OSHA proposes $84,000 in additional fines for DEC Management¿s failure to abate (correct) the hazards cited in the August inspection. The agency issues a $2,000 fine for a new fall hazard identified during this follow-up inspection.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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.