Date: Monday, October 30, 2006
Contact: Kurt Petermeyer Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (912) 652-4393 (404) 562-2076
Agency Proposes $140,000 in Penalties
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has again cited Padgett Tabby & Stucco for allegedly exposing workers to falls from unsafe scaffolding; this time at a Demere Road work site on Saint Simons Island, Ga. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $140,000.
"The penalties proposed in this case will serve as a deterrent for this company, which OSHA has cited on multiple occasions for similar conditions," said John Deifer, OSHA's area director in Savannah. "It is unacceptable for employers to continue to ignore workers' safety and health."
Deifer explained that more than 40 percent of all fatal construction accidents in the Southeast over the past year resulted from falls. "This inspection began after OSHA compliance officers observed workers 10 feet from the ground on scaffolding without fall protection installing stucco onto the exterior walls of a shopping center," he said. "OSHA has a fall prevention program that allows for an immediate inspection when hazards like these are observed before an accident has occurred."
OSHA issued five repeat citations to Padgett, with proposed penalties totaling $136,000, for failing to provide employees with a safe means of climbing to or descending from scaffolds; allowing employees to work from tubular-welded-frame scaffolding that was not fully braced; not providing fully planked flooring and guardrails; and failing to have a designated competent person train employees who erected the scaffolding.
The company also received one serious citation, with a proposed penalty of $4,000, for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid safety and health hazards. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazards.
The Brunswick, Ga.-based company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Savannah area office located at 450 Mall Boulevard, Suite J; phone: (912) 652-4393.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace 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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