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Region 4 News Release: 06-1751-ATL (243)
Date: Monday, October 16, 2006
Contact: Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (404) 562-2076
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Pettit Construction for allegedly exposing employees to fall hazards from defective scaffolding at a construction site at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $67,900.
"Preventing falls, a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries in the Southeast, is a goal of this agency," said Suzanne Street, OSHA's Columbia area director. "After this inspection, the prime contractor abated the hazards by obtaining and erecting proper scaffolding for Pettit employees."
In May 2006, an OSHA inspector observed the unsafe scaffolding at the base. OSHA issued one willful citation to Pettit, with a proposed penalty of $49,500, for failing to erect scaffolding under the supervision of a designated competent person and ensure daily safety inspections before employees began work. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. Pettit had been cited previously by the South Carolina Department of Labor for similar violations at a non-federal work site.
The company also received 11 serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $18,400, for the following alleged safety violations: inadequately supported scaffolding due to rusted and mismatched component parts; lack of floor planking and railings; improperly secured braces and frames; and failing to provide employees with safety training.
Most job safety and health inspections in the state are conducted by the South Carolina Department of Labor; however, federal OSHA retains jurisdiction on military posts and other federal property.
The company, based in Roebuck, S.C., has 15 business days to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by staff from federal OSHA's Columbia area office. The office is located in the Strom Thurmond Federal Building, 1835 Assembly St., Room 1472; phone: (803) 765-5904.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process 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 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. 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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