OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 USDL 04-198-BOS /BOS 2004-045
Monday, March 8, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
$118,750 in Fines Proposed for Willful, Repeat, Serious Violations
CONCORD, N.H. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited two contractors - Barrett Co., Inc., of Camp Hill, Penn., and Performance Framing, Inc., of Lawrence, Mass., - for failing to supply fall protection for their employees at a Bedford, N.H., hotel construction site.
"To ensure that workplace fatalities continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from workplace hazards," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant proposed fines of $118,750 show that this Administration is committed to the safety of American workers, and we will take action when employers ignore their responsibility."
OSHA began its inspection on Aug. 28 after it was informed of potential fall hazards at the Hawthorne Drive jobsite. Barrett is the general contractor for the construction of a Hampton Inn at that location, and Performance Framing is a subcontractor. The inspection found employees of both contractors exposed to falls of up to four stories while working without protection near the edge of open-sided floors. Barrett employees were also exposed to falls from unguarded scaffolding.
Barrett faces $104,700 in fines for 13 alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In addition to the fall protection hazards, Barrett was cited for allowing employees to work on scaffolding that wasn't fully planked; inadequately erected and maintained scaffolds; failing to train workers on scaffolding and fall hazards; no ladder safety training; unsecured floor holes; storing materials at the edge of open-sided floors; no strain relief for electric cords; and exposing employees to the hazard of objects falling from scaffolds.
Performance was cited for a total of six alleged willful and serious violations, including the lack of fall protection; no fall protection training; no ladder safety training; unsecured floor holes; and misuse of a ladder. $14,050 in fines is proposed for these items.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has previously been cited for a substantially similar hazard and the citation has become final. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
Each company 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, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by the OSHA's Concord area office. The telephone number is (603) 225-1629.
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses, and protecting the health and safety of America's workers. In fiscal year 2002, the most recent year for which data has been published, there was a 6.6 percent decline in work-related fatalities in the U.S. In FY 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections, and more than half focused on high-hazard industries. For more information visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at 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 at (202) 693-7765 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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