Jan. 9, 2008
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Federal agency proposes $166,000 in penalties
DENVER -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $166,000 in penalties against Concrete Express Inc. (CEI) of Denver for unsafe working conditions following a July 5, 2007, partial collapse of a concrete floor that injured 13 employees.
The employees were involved in the placement and finishing of a concrete deck on the Landmark Tower condominium project in Greenwood Village, Colo., when the shoring, concrete and formwork collapsed, and the employees fell to the floor below. The general contractor on the site was Beck Residential, which contracted with CEI to provide shoring and formwork for support of the concrete frame of the building.
Citations issued against the company by OSHA's Englewood Area Office included two willful violations with proposed penalties of $140,000 for a structural collapse hazard and improper shoring and bracing. Six serious violations with a proposed penalty of $26,000 cover employee exposure to collapse, fall and tripping hazards.
"Employers must provide a safe and healthful working environment, and ensure that all employees are protected from hazardous conditions," said John Healy, OSHA's area office director in Englewood, Colo. "This employer was well aware of, yet did not comply with, the standards that would have protected employees from the hazards we found during our inspection."
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and its regulations. A serious violation is defined as one committed where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
CEI has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 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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