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Region 7 News Release: 04-231-KAN
Date: February 18, 2004
Contact: Norma J. Conrad
$111,000 In Penalties Proposed
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Lasley Construction, Inc., for alleged willful and serious safety violations at a worksite in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
"Protecting employees from workplace hazards must be a top priority for all employers," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The $111,000 significant penalty in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting workers' health and safety. This Administration has set new records for health and safety inspections and enforcement, and as a result, workers are safer and healthier than ever before."
The inspection began in October after employees were observed walking on steel I-beams at heights of approximately 40 feet above the ground.
OSHA issued citations for three alleged willful violations for employees conducting work activities from the handrails of aerial lifts, employees working from aerial lifts without attaching personal fall arrest systems to the lift's anchor point, and employees working from the unprotected edge of steel beams and decking leading edges without fall protection systems.
The alleged serious violations included failure to have a program ensuring the proper use of personal protective equipment (full body harness) and overloading the man basket of an aerial lift. An additional alleged violation was also issued for failure to use designated aerial lift anchor points when attaching personal fall arrest system harnesses.
Willful violations are those committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations. Serious violations are those in which there is substantial probability of death or serious physical harm from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. Other-than-serious violations have a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Lasley Construction, Inc., is headquartered in southern Illinois and employs approximately 30 workers. The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply with them, to request and to participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting America's workers. Last year, OSHA conducted almost 23,000 inspections in the construction industry, an increase of seven percent over 2002. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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