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OSHA News Release
Region 2

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Region 2 News Release: 08-1364-NEW/BOS 2008-271
Tues., Sept. 30, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

Ronkonkoma, N.Y., contractor faces more than $147,000 inU.S. Labor Department OSHA fines for construction safety hazards

WESTBURY, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Painting and Decorating Inc. of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., for 20 alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of safety standards with $147,200 in proposed fines. The stucco and exterior/interior painting company was cited for failing to adequately protect its employees against falls and several other construction hazards at a King's Point, N.Y., jobsite.

OSHA issued Painting and Decorating Inc. four willful, seven serious and nine repeat citations for a variety of deficiencies including, but not limited to, the employer's failure to: provide guardrails and/or fall protection while working on a scaffold, adequate planking, a competent person to oversee the work, training for employees working on scaffolds, base plates and an access ladder. The company also failed to inspect scaffolds for defects, provide fall protection for employees working 6 feet above a lower level and provide fall protection training to employees.

The willful violations address failure to fully plank the working platforms of the scaffold, use base plates, provide an access ladder and provide guard rails on a scaffold. A willful citation is issued when the evidence shows either an intentional violation of the law or plain indifference to its requirements.

"Employees working at heights greater than 6 feet must be adequately protected against falls, which are one of the leading killers in construction work," said Patricia Jones, OSHA's area director for Long Island. "Employers must take seriously both this hazard and their responsibility to ensure that employees are well equipped to do their jobs safely."

The serious violations address Painting and Decorating Inc.'s failure to: maintain a power tool in a safe condition, install a guard on a table saw, use equipment in accordance with instructions, maintain electric cords, lay platforms on scaffolds correctly when the scaffold changes direction, tie in a scaffold four or more tiers high and have handrails on stairways. 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.

"One of the best means of ensuring a safe workplace is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which management and employees can work together to actively identify, analyze and eliminate work-related hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

An employer may be cited for a repeat violation if that employer was cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation became a final order. Painting and Decorating Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The company already has filed a formal notice of contest with OSHA. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Long Island Area Office; telephone 516-334-3344.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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


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