OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 2 News Release: 04-1494-NEW (osha-04-097)
Date: Aug. 17, 2004
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Phone: (215) 861-5102
AVENEL, N.J. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $147,000 in fines against Stucco America for lack of fall protection and other alleged safety and health violations.
"We must ensure that all employers protect their workers from occupational hazards, so that injury and illness rates continue to decline," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant fines of $147,100 proposed in this case demonstrate the commitment of this Administration to protecting the health and safety of America's workers."
OSHA initiated its inspection on Feb. 4, 2004, after being notified that Stucco America employees were working on a scaffold up to 30 feet above ground level without fall protection. Citations were issued for five alleged willful violations, with a penalty of $139,500; one alleged repeat violation, with a penalty of $2,800; and three alleged serious violations, with a penalty of $4,800.
The alleged willful violations include the company's failure to provide: fall protection to employees working on scaffolds, protective helmets and safe scaffold access; as well as failure to properly brace the scaffolding.
The repeat violation was due to the company's failure to protect against falling hand tools. The proposed serious violations address the company's failure to: initiate and maintain an accident prevention program, properly tie and brace scaffolding, and provide employees with required training.
OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. Serious violations are those in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Avenel area office, 1030 St. Georges Avenue, Plaza 35-Suite 205; phone: (732) 750-3270.
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections in fiscal year (FY) 2003, an increase of more than 2,000 over (FY) 2002 inspection levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. 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.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL 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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