Workers exposed to fall hazards at residential construction site in Hegins, Pa.
Custom Valley Builders LLC fined $33,200 by US Department of Labor's OSHA
LYKENS, Pa. – Residential builder and remodeler Custom Valley Builders LLC, located in Lykens, was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to safety hazards at a work site in Hegins. Workers were exposed to a fall hazard while replacing the roof, siding and windows on a two-story residence. Citations were issued for one willful violation and two serious violations following an inspection initiated under the agency's Fall Protection Regional Emphasis Program. Proposed penalties total $33,200.
"Falls are the leading cause of death in construction," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office. "We and employers know how to prevent fall fatalities, and it is unacceptable that Custom Valley Builders failed to provide its employees with proper protection."
The willful violation, with a $28,000 penalty, was because of a lack of fall protection for employees working on a roof 19 to 24 feet off the ground. A willful violation is one committed with intentional or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The serious violations involve a lack of guarding on a portable angle grinder and the lack of fall protection for employees working from an aerial lift. Penalties for the serious violations total $5,200. 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.
OSHA will hold a National Safety Stand-Down from June 2-6 to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls, which account for the most deaths in the construction industry. The stand-down is part of OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign. The campaign, which started in 2012, was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. The campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to plan ahead to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees in the proper use of that equipment.
Custom Valley Builders has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director in Wilkes-Barre, 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 Wilkes-Barre Area Office at 570-826-6538.
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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