US Labor Department's OSHA cites Holtsville, NY, contractor for serious
safety violations following decking collapse that injured worker
RNC Industries LLC faces over$58,000 in fines
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited RNC Industries LLC, a construction contractor, for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following a March 29 decking collapse that injured a worker at a construction site located at 23 W. 116th St. in Manhattan. The Holtsville contractor faces a total of $58,410 in proposed penalties following an inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office.
RNC Industries' employees were constructing a deck on the second floor level when one of the employees stepped on a support beam that collapsed, causing him to fall 15 feet to the ground. OSHA's inspection found that the support system had not been properly erected, and the support beams were damaged and had not been inspected for defects. Additionally, the employees lacked fall protection, exposing them to falls of up to 15 feet. They had not been trained to recognize and minimize fall hazards.
"This incident, and the resulting worker injury, would not have occurred had the support system been inspected and properly erected, and if the employees had been provided adequate fall protection and training," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. "Falls are the number-one killer in construction work. Employers must ensure that their workers are properly trained and equipped to prevent falls from occurring. This case clearly shows what can result when required safeguards are ignored."
OSHA issued the contractor one repeat citation, with a fine of $34,650, for the lack of fall protection. A similar hazard was cited in 2010 at a Bronx work site. Four serious citations, with $23,760 in fines, were issued for the support system and training hazards. 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. 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.
OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
RNC Industries LLC 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Manhattan Area Office at 212-620-3200.
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.
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.