Region 2 News Release: 11-1699-NEW/BOS 2011-401
Dec. 13, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites 3 New York City contractors
for fall, scaffolding and other hazards at work site in the Bronx
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited three contractors for a total of 21 alleged violations of workplace safety standards at a work site in the Bronx. They are Arberia & Associates General Contractors Inc., the project's Manhattan-based general contractor; and carpentry subcontractor K&G Haxhari Construction and masonry subcontractor Mondi Construction Inc., both of the Bronx. Proposed penalties total $71,340.
OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office opened its inspection July 28 after employees were observed at a Muliner Avenue construction site working at heights of 24 feet above the ground on scaffolds that lacked guardrails. A variety of tripping, electrical, training and other scaffold hazards also were identified at the site.
"The absence of required guardrails exposed these workers to potentially deadly or disabling falls of more than two stories," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director for Bronx, Westchester and Rockland counties. "While it is fortunate that no one fell, workplace safety cannot be left to the whims of fortune."
Specifically, Mondi Construction has been cited for five repeat and seven serious violations with $45,540 in proposed fines for the lack of scaffold guardrails and stair handrails, the lack of hazard recognition training, tripping hazards, weakened scaffolding planks, the lack of eye protection and multiple electrical hazards. The employer was cited for similar violations in May 2008 at a Bronx, N.Y., worksite. 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.
K&G Haxhari Construction has been cited for nine serious violations with $19,800 in fines for tripping hazards and missing stair handrails, the lack of hazard recognition training and multiple electrical hazards. Arberia & Associates General Contractors has been cited for two serious violations with $6,000 in fines for the lack of fall protection on stair landings and missing stair handrails.
"To prevent hazards such as these, employers should implement effective illness and injury prevention programs in which they work continuously with their employees to identify and eliminate hazards," 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 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 Tarrytown office at 914-524-7510.
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.