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U.S. Department of Labor | June 21, 2016 BOS-2016-097

Employees exposed to widespread, potentially fatal electrical,
fall hazards at Williamsburg building site
Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov cited for 21 safety hazards

Employer name: Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov, 638 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, New York, constructing a six-story school and office building at 642 Bedford St. in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Citations issued: On June 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov for 21 serious violations of workplace safety standards.

Investigation findings: Employees working at the site were exposed to widespread electrical hazards and to falls of from six to more than 10 feet as well as impalement, struck-by and laceration hazards. These included:

  • Exposed live electrical outlets and parts, misused and damaged electrical cords throughout the worksite.
  • No fall protection for employees working at unguarded building edges and an unguarded elevator shaft.
  • An inadequately planked scaffold that was not erected under the supervision of a competent person.
  • Employees climbing framing and cross-bracing to access the scaffold.
  • Unguarded skylights and floor holes.
  • Impalement hazards from unguarded projecting steel rebar.
  • Uncapped and unsecured compressed gas cylinders.
  • Objects falling from an unguarded elevator shaft.
  • A grinder not guarded against employee contact.

The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office under its local emphasis program on construction.

Proposed penalties: $49,200

Quote: "The nature and breadth of these violations are disturbing. Falls and electrocution are two of the four hazards that account for most injuries and deaths in construction work. Responsible employers must ensure that these and other required safeguards are in place and in use at all times. The lives and well-being of their employees depends on this," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.

Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov 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.

Link to citations: http://go.usa.gov/xq3fF.

# # #

Media Contact:

Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov
James C. Lally, 617-565-2074, lally.james.c@dol.gov

Release Number: 16-1175-NEW


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