Region 5 News Release: 06-905-CHI
May 24, 2006
Contact: Brad Mitchell
OSHA Fines Masonry Contractor $75,000 for Construction Deficiencies Leading to Building Collapse
CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $75,000 in penalties against Illinois Masonry Corp., headquartered in Lake Zurich, Ill., for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards for its and other contractors' employees working on a building undergoing construction in Chicago.
Illinois Masonry Corp. was contracted by general contractor Joseph J. Duffy Company Inc. to complete masonry operations for the seven-story Holiness Homes of Vision senior housing complex. OSHA opened an investigation in December 2005 following a partial collapse of the building, which led to the deaths of an employee who worked for Duffy and an employee of electrical subcontractor Bonus Electric Inc.
The investigation resulted in citations to Illinois Masonry Corp. for one alleged willful and three alleged serious violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations, including the failure to comply with OSHA's general duty clause, wall bracing, employee training and competent person inspection standards.
"Failing to ensure that employees are constructing buildings as required by the structural drawings devised for a project can lead to devastating results," said OSHA Area Director Gary Anderson of Calumet City. "Contractors are obligated to provide craftsmanship that not only satisfies expected results in quality, but also expected results regarding employee safety and health."
OSHA is alleging that Illinois Masonry Corp. failed to install the required reinforcing bars and grout as part of the masonry wall construction, ensure walls were properly braced to prevent overturning, properly train employees regarding grouting methods and conduct necessary inspections to ensure masonry walls were properly constructed.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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