Region 2 News Release: 11-935-NEW/BOS 2011-248
July 6, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Heng Wei Construction for repeat and
serious safety hazards following inspection at Manhattan work site
OSHA to hold July 9 safety summit in Queens for Asian and Pacific Islander workers
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Heng Wei Construction Inc. for 11 alleged violations of workplace safety standards following OSHA's inspection of a construction work site at 120 University Place in Manhattan. The Elmhurst contractor faces a total of $44,220 in proposed fines.
OSHA opened an inspection after observing a Heng Wei Construction employee operating an unguarded grinder and not wearing required eye protection. The inspection verified these hazards and identified several electrical safety hazards, including equipment plugged into an uncovered receptacle that was laying on the sidewalk, exposed energized circuit breaker panels and a lack of ground fault circuit interrupters. In addition, Heng Wei Construction did not have a competent person inspect the work site for hazards, and instruct workers in the recognition and avoidance of work hazards.
Two repeat violations with $13,200 in fines were cited for the lack of inspections and ground fault circuit interrupters. Nine serious violations with $31,020 in fines were cited for the remaining grinder, eye protection and electrical hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited in October 2010 for similar hazards at a work site on 2072 Harway Ave. in Brooklyn.
"These citations address this employer's failure to adhere to basic safety requirements necessary to protect its workers against death or serious injury," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Manhattan. "This is not the first time Heng Wei Construction has been cited for violations of OSHA safety standards. These hazards must be corrected, and this employer must take effective steps to prevent them from occurring again."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office; telephone 212-620-3200. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
On July 9, OSHA will hold a free safety summit in Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Queens, N.Y., 11354, to provide safety and health information to workers of Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds in the greater New York City area. The summit will provide useful information on workers' rights and on identifying and protecting against work-related hazards. It will be held 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. EDT. To register or obtain further information, members of the public should contact Babette Velez at 212-337-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.