July 28, 2008
Contact: Alisha Brown
Unsafe crane conditions result in nearly $160,000 in proposed penalties
PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited MJ Associates Inc. for numerous alleged safety and health violations, totaling $159,000 in proposed fines. The Philadelphia company cuts and forms rebar for the construction industry.
OSHA initiated its investigation of the Philadelphia facility, which employs 49 people, on January 30 in response to a complaint alleging fall hazards, and failure to inspect and maintain conveyors and cranes. The investigation resulted in three willful and 51 serious violations.
The willful violations include failure to correct unsafe conditions disclosed by crane inspections, and provide appropriate guarding on rotating parts. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.
The serious violations include the company's failure to ensure that cranes were not used to lift materials beyond their rated load capacity. The company also failed to provide fall protection, inspect cranes and mark exit route doors. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"It is imperative that MJ Associates Inc. corrects these violations to prevent injuries or death," said Al D'Imperio, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment for their employees."
MJ Associates Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Philadelphia office; telephone 215-597-4955.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.