Region 2 News Release: 10-1501-NEW/BOS 2010-444
Nov. 2, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites New York and Pennsylvania contractors
following scaffold collapse at Binghamton University that injured 6 workers
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two contractors for alleged serious violations of safety standards following a June 2 scaffold collapse at Binghamton University in Vestal, N.Y., that injured six workers.
The incident occurred when a scaffold platform bridge connecting two separate Hydro Mobile platform scaffolds failed and fell 40 feet to the ground. Cited were Apple Roofing Co., a Syracuse contractor performing roofing work, and CFI Sales and Service, the Brackney, Pa., subcontractor that erected the scaffolds.
OSHA's inspection found that the safety chains designed to hold the scaffold platform bridge in place were no longer on the scaffold. While it could not be established who removed the safety chains, OSHA determined that Apple Roofing did not have a competent person, one with the knowledge and authority to identify and correct such a hazardous condition, inspect the scaffold before using it.
"If Apple Roofing had inspected the scaffold, it would have seen that the safety chains were not in place and would not have used the scaffold until the chains were re-installed," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse.
As a result of its inspection, OSHA issued Apple Roofing five serious citations, with $12,300 in proposed fines, for not inspecting the scaffold, not training employees to recognize hazards associated with scaffolding work and for fall hazards. CFI Sales and Service was issued two serious citations, with $2,100 in fines, for a fall hazard and for not training employees to recognize scaffold work hazards. 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. Detailed information on scaffolding safety standards and hazards, including an interactive eTool, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
"One means of eliminating hazards such as these is for employers to establish an illness and injury prevention program in which workers and management jointly work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions on a continual basis," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
Each employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to meet with OSHA or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office, telephone 315-451-0808. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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.