Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Allstate Painting, a Mount Vernon, N.Y., contractor, for alleged willful and serious violations of scaffolding safety standards at a Nyack, N.Y., jobsite. The company faces $24,800 in proposed fines.
OSHA's inspection of the 292 Main St. worksite found that Allstate employees were exposed on two occasions to fall hazards of 13 feet while working without fall protection on a two-tiered tubular welded scaffold that was not fully planked. The lack of planking and fall protection resulted in two willful citations, carrying $14,000 in fines.
The inspection also found that the scaffold was unstable, missing required cross-bracing, located within 14 inches of live electrical wires, and had not been erected under the supervision of a competent person. Other hazards included lack of head and foot protection, an uncovered hatchway, a ladder of inadequate height, and failure to train employees to recognize hazards associated with scaffolding work and ladders. Twelve serious citations with $10,800 in fines were issued for these conditions.
"While it's fortunate that no accident occurred here, the potential for death or serious injury was real and present," said Diana Cortez, director of OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office, which covers Rockland, Westchester and Bronx Counties. "With construction season in full swing, I'm calling upon all area employers, large and small, who use scaffolding to review their equipment, procedures and training to minimize hazards and maximize employee safety."
Detailed information on scaffold safety, including requirements, hazard solutions and an interactive e-Tool, is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
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. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office, telephone (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 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.
U.S. Labor Department 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.