Oct. 6, 2015 BOS 2015-186
OSHA cites Brooklyn contractor for fatal worker fall
J&M Metro General Contracting Corp. fails to provide lifesaving protections
NEW YORK - Vidal Sanchez fell to his death at a Brooklyn work site on April 1, 2015. It should not have happened.
The 51-year-old laborer, who worked for Brooklyn-based J&M Metro General Contracting Corp., fell while raking freshly poured concrete at the unprotected 6th floor edge of a building under construction at 360 Neptune Ave. in Brighton Beach.
An inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Sanchez and his co-workers were not provided required fall protection equipment, such as harnesses and lifelines, and their employer had not trained them on how to minimize fall hazards. As a result of its findings, OSHA cited J&M Metro General Contracting on Sept. 30 for one willful violation for the lack of fall protection and five serious violations for the other hazards.
"Mr. Sanchez's death could have been prevented by J&M Metro General Contracting," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. "This employer knew fall protection was required, but did not supply lifesaving equipment that would have prevented this fall."
OSHA's inspection identified other fall-related hazards, including missing stairway guardrails, a defective extension ladder, unprotected floor holes and construction debris in stairways and work areas.
"Too many construction workers die needlessly in falls each year. This includes nine such employees in New York City this year," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "We remind employers that these are people, not numbers. Employers must use appropriate and effective required fall protection measures at all times."
To raise public awareness and reduce fall-related hazards and injuries, OSHA has an ongoing Fall Protection Campaign to help workers and employers identify and address fall hazards and safeguards.
J&M Metro General Contracting faces $84,600 in proposed fines. The company 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 amputations, eye loss, 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.
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Ted Fitzgerald, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-565-2075
Release Number: 15-1951-NEW
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