OSHA cites Yonkers Contracting, subcontractor following
worker's crushing death at subway extension site in Manhattan
Company failed to conduct required hoist inspections that would have identified defects
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Yonkers Contracting Co. Inc. for a total of 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety in connection with the April 3 death of a worker on the No. 7 subway extension project in Manhattan. The worker, an employee of subcontractor J&EIndustries of Belle Harbor, was fatally struck by a crane boom at the 524 W. 33rd St. work site after the wire rope used to raise and lower the boom broke, causing it to fall.
"Fundamental, vital and required safety practices were not followed in this case, resulting in the most extreme consequence: the loss of a worker's life," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director in Manhattan. "Had the proper procedures been followed, this incident and this worker's death could have been prevented."
OSHA's inspection found that Yonkers Contracting had not conducted required inspections of wire ropes used to hoist materials, including the boom hoist that collapsed and killed the worker. Inspections by the employer are required before each work shift and on a monthly and annual basis to identify and correct any defects in the ropes. A total of 10 serious violations were cited, which also include allowing a worker inside the crane's fall zone, not ensuring that a rigger (that is, a worker who rigs cranes to lift loads) is properly trained, fall hazards stemming from an unguarded/open-sided work area, impalement hazards from unguarded rebar and failing to conduct required annual functional testing of the hoist.
Additionally, J&E Industries was issued one serious citation involving a lack of training for a rigger. 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.
"One method of enhancing workers' safety and to prevent on-the-job deaths is developing and maintaining an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to proactively identify and prevent hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cits330046.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cits330085.pdf*. Yonkers Contacting, which faces $68,000 in proposed fines, and J&EIndustries, which faces a $7,000 proposed fine, each have 15 business days from receipt of the 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 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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.