Region 2 News Release: 10-1255-NEW/BOS 2010-390
Mon., Sept. 13, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $225,200 in fines against Long Island, NY,
contractor for scaffold and fall hazards at 2 jobsites
WESTBURY, N.Y. - A Ronkonkoma, N.Y., painting and stucco contractor faces a total of $225,200 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for failing to properly erect scaffolds and provide fall protection for its workers at two Kings Point, N.Y., jobsites.
Painting and Decorating Inc. was cited for a total of 15 alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following OSHA inspections of jobsites located at 20 Lighthouse Road and 9 Briar Lane. Both inspections were opened when OSHA inspectors observed clearly recognized fall hazards while driving by the jobsites.
"These sizable fines reflect both the gravity of the cited hazards and this employer's prior history of similar violations," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island area director in Westbury "Scaffolds must be properly erected and fall protection provided to employees when they work on scaffolds at heights of 10 feet or more, yet this employer has repeatedly neglected to implement these basic, commonsense and legally required safeguards."
Painting and Decorating Inc. was issued eight willful citations with $200,000 in fines for not fully planking scaffolds, providing an access ladder, ensuring scaffolds rested on base plates and providing fall protection at both jobsites. Six serious citations with $5,200 in fines were issued for missing railings, toeboards and bracing at both jobsites. The contractor was issued one repeat citation with a $20,000 fine for not training workers at the Briar Lane jobsite on scaffolding assembly and work.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. The repeat citations stem from OSHA having cited the employer in 2007 and 2008 for similar hazards at jobsites in Kings Point and Great Neck, N.Y.
"One means of preventing recurring hazards is for employers to establish an effective, comprehensive injury and illness prevention program in which their workers take a continuous and active role in evaluating, identifying and eliminating hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Painting and Decorating Inc. 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. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Long Island Area Office; telephone 516-334-3344. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
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 assure 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.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.