Ellicott Development Co. faces $44,000 in US Labor Department OSHA fines
for lead exposure and fall hazards at Buffalo, NY, work site
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations for 10 serious violations of workplace health and safety standards to Ellicott Development Co. for exposing workers to lead and fall hazards at a Buffalo work site. The Buffalo-based real estate development and management company faces a total of $44,000 in fines following an inspection by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office begun in December 2012 in response to a complaint.
OSHA found that Ellicott's workers performing demolition work at 2017 Clinton St. were exposed to lead while tearing down and disposing of walls that contained lead paint. Ellicott did not conduct monitoring and sampling to determine the lead exposure levels and did not provide workers with training, respiratory protection, protective clothing, medical surveillance and information about lead hazards.
"This employer failed to take the basic steps necessary to protect workers against a potentially significant health hazard," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "Exposure to lead can damage the blood-forming, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. Even short-term exposure can have consequences. Ellicott Development must ensure that the proper safeguards are in place, in use and effective at this and all its job sites where workers may be exposed to lead."
The inspection also found workers exposed to falls of 15 feet from the unguarded edge of the roof, from which they were throwing materials into a dumpster. They were also exposed to unguarded floor holes on the roof. An additional hazard stemmed from a scaffold whose casters were not locked to prevent movement.
"Employers can address and prevent hazards, such as these, by establishing an injury and illness prevention program in which workers and management continually work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Ellicott Development Co. 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.
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 Buffalo office at 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 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.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.