Region 2 News Release: 11-1759-NEW/BOS 2011-404
Dec. 15, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites New Jersey contractor for fall hazards,
other violations at West Eighth Street work site in Manhattan
A&B Ironworks faces more than $110,000 in fines
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A&B Ironworks LLC for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a work site located at 48 W. Eighth St. in Manhattan. The Kearny, N.J., masonry contractor faces a total of $110,220 in proposed fines, chiefly for fall and scaffold hazards.
OSHA's Manhattan Area Office opened its inspection on July 14 when an agency inspector observed that A&B employees were exposed to falls of up to 45 feet while working without fall protection on a scaffold that was not fully planked. As a result of these conditions, OSHA has cited two willful violations carrying $92,400 in proposed fines. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
"Falls are not only the most cited hazard in construction work, they are the deadliest," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. "A fall can kill or disable a worker in seconds. Proper and effective safeguards should be implemented and followed at all times on all job sites."
OSHA's inspection also identified various other hazards, including an improperly installed access ladder, an inadequate stairway, employees being permitted to climb cross braces to access elevated work areas, inadequately guarded moving machine parts and a lack of electrical grounding. These conditions resulted in citations for seven serious violations carrying $17,820 in fines. 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 means of preventing workplace hazards such as these is for employers to 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.
Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/abironworks_315676890_1206_11.pdf*.
A&B Ironworks 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 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.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.