US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Quinco Steel of Chicago Heights, Ill.,
for exposing workers to fall hazards, proposes more than $75,000 in fines
CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Quinco Steel Inc. of Chicago Heights for four repeat safety violations after people were observed working at heights without fall protection during a January job site inspection in Chicago. The steel erection contractor faces penalties totaling $75,460.
"It is inexcusable to continually fail to protect workers from falls at heights greater than 15 feet, as required by OSHA's standard for steel erection activities," said Gary Anderson, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Employers, especially those in hazardous industries, must be responsible for knowing what hazards exist on their job sites and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death."
The violations include failing to attach a lanyard to an aerial lift; failing to provide fall protection for workers climbing over the rails of an aerial lift; allowing a worker to perform detailing operations during steel erection at heights of 27 feet; and allowing another unprotected employee to perform work at a height of 37 feet. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The company has been inspected by OSHA 14 times since 1999. The agency previously issued citations for 13 serious, repeat and willful violations related to aerial lift usage and steel erection.
OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers are engaged in steel erection activity more than 15 feet above the next lower level. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Calumet City Area Office at 708-891-3800. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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 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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.