OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 2 News Release: 04-2092-NEW /BOS 2004-250
Monday, October 25, 2004
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
NEW YORK CITY -- The death of a worker who fell 15 feet from an unguarded scaffold at a Long Island City worksite would have been prevented if his employer had supplied the required fall protection, reports the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Jerrick Contracting Company Inc., a Brooklyn-based masonry, roofing and waterproofing contractor, has been fined $130,000 for alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of safety standards following the April 24 accident at a jobsite located at 34-11 47th Ave.
"Strong enforcement is a key part of this Administration's efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $130,000 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."
OSHA's inspection found that three scaffolds on the jobsite, including the one from which the worker fell, were not fully planked and lacked guardrails or some other means of preventing falls. OSHA issued two willful citations, carrying $112,000 in fines, for these fall hazards. 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.
OSHA also determined that Jerrick failed to train workers on scaffold hazards, did not provide needed ladders for safe access to different work levels and failed to properly ground electrical equipment. OSHA had previously cited Jerrick in 2002 and 2003 for substantially similar hazards at jobsites in Chatham and Brooklyn, N.Y. As a result, three repeat citations, carrying $16,500 in fines, were issued for these items. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for similar hazards and those citations have become final.
Jerrick was also issued a serious citation, with a $1,500 fine, for not developing and implementing a respiratory protection program for employees. OSHA defines a serious violation as a condition that exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee.
Jerrick has elected to contest its citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Bayside, NY area office, located at 42-40 Bell Boulevard. The office's telephone number is (718) 279-9060.
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. 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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