August 13, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $146,000 in penalties against A.E. New Jr. Inc. of Gulf Breeze, Fla., for eight safety violations found at a school construction site in Milton, Fla.
The company was cited for three willful safety violations with penalties totaling $132,000. OSHA determined that competently trained employees saw violations that jeopardized safety but did not take corrective action. The violations included employees working on an improperly erected scaffold, employees working from a makeshift platform and employees using a forklift to lift them to the building's roof without using required fall protection equipment.
OSHA inspectors cited the company for four serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $10,000. These violations included allowing employees to work on a roof edge without fall protection, using a pallet on a forklift as a platform for employees, having employees access the scaffold in an unsafe manner and allowing debris to accumulate around the worksite.
A $4,000 repeat safety violation was proposed for allowing employees to work near overhead brick laying operations without wearing hard hats. The company was cited for this same violation in 2004.
"Occupational fatalities caused by falls remain a serious public health problem and one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death," said James Borders, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "OSHA wants employers to correct harmful situations before employees are injured."
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's office in Jacksonville, 1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 227; telephone (904) 232-2895.
OSHA has a vigorous enforcement program, having conducted more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
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 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.
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