US Labor Department's OSHA cites South Florida stucco contractor with
serious and repeat safety violations, proposes penalties of more than $41,200
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Westport Stucco of South Florida eight safety citations and $41,200 in penalties following an inspection of the company's site in Cooper City, Fla.
OSHA is issuing four repeat safety citations with $34,800 in fines for failing to initiate and maintain a corporate safety program that complies with OSHA standards, failing to fully plank each working level of scaffolds, failing to equip scaffolds with guardrails, and using scaffolds that were not inspected by a competent person. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Four serious citations are being issued with fines of $6,400 for failing to place planking of a scaffolding over a support, to properly brace scaffolds, erect toe boards to prevent falling objects from striking employees beneath the scaffolds, and have a competent person inspect scaffolds after they have been erected, moved, dismantled or altered. A serious citation is issued 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.
"The dangers of scaffolding can be controlled by adhering to OSHA standards, but this company continues to expose its workers to unnecessary hazards," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA area director in Fort Lauderdale.
Detailed information on scaffold hazards and safe work practices, including an interactive e-Tool, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's area office at 1000 South Pine Island Road, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33324; telephone 954-424-0242. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.
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.
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