OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA News Release – Region 1
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 1 BOS 2003-089
May 8, 2003
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
after Worker Fall at Wentworth By The Sea Construction Site
CONCORD, N.H. -- A worker's four-story fall at a New Castle, N.H., construction site could have been prevented if his employer had supplied required fall protection, reports the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Courtcon, Inc., of Portsmouth, N.H., general contractor for the renovation of the Wentworth By The Sea Hotel, faces $57,100 in OSHA fines for alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, following an OSHA inspection prompted by the Jan. 17 accident.
According to David May, OSHA's New Hampshire area director, Courtcon was using a forklift to raise a pallet of material to a wall opening for transfer into the building. An employee was removing material from the pallet when it shifted, causing him to fall four stories and sustain serious injuries.
"OSHA's inspection found that workers were not tied off or otherwise protected against potentially fatal falls while performing this work," said May. "This was a clearly recognized hazard, of which the employer was aware, and fall protection should have been supplied and used."
As a result, OSHA has issued a willful citation for this hazard and proposed a $49,000 fine. A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Courtcon was also cited for five alleged serious violations, with $5,100 in fines, for fall hazards stemming from misuse of stepladders and failure to train employees in their safe use and for an exposed live electrical panel. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there us a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition about which the employer knew or should have known.
An additional $3,000 fine is proposed for an alleged repeat violation for improper storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for a substantially similar violation and that citation has become final. Courtcon had been cited for a substantially similar hazard at this jobsite in August 2002.
Courtcon has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, and/or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Concord area office. The telephone number is (603) 225-1629.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device dor the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.
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