Region 2 News Release: 06-808-NEW / BOS 2006-131
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
OSHA Fines Virgin Island Construction Company $63,125 for Fall Hazards
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- A St. Thomas construction company's alleged failure to protect employees against fall hazards has resulted in a total of $63,125 in fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Vivot Construction Company was cited for one alleged willful and three alleged serious violations of OSHA's safety standards. The citations and fines resulted from an OSHA inspection of a worksite at the Marriott Frenchman Cove in St. Thomas. The largest fine, $56,000, was assessed for a willful violation as a result of failure to provide fall protection to employees working at heights of fourteen feet on the face of a formwork wall. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
OSHA's inspection found "struck by" and various fall hazards, slings not inspected for damage, lack of fall protection on scaffolds more than 10 feet high, and ladders provided but not used. As a result, OSHA issued three serious citations and proposed $7,125 in fines for these conditions. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to a potential serious injury or death from falls," said Jose A. Carpena, OSHA's Puerto Rico area director. "It's vital that workers be properly and effectively trained before working at elevations as required by the work on formwork and scaffolding. This is an example of what can be prevented by training employees to recognize and prevent exposure to deadly hazards."
Vivot Construction Company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Puerto Rico Area Office, located at 1510 FD Roosevelt Ave., Triple S Plaza Bldg. Suite 5B, Guaynabo P.R., telephone (787) 277-1560.
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 workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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