OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 News Release: 07-655-BOS/BOS 2007-119
May 8, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
CONCORD, N.H. -- A South Bend, Ind.-based steel erection contractor's failure to provide fall protection for its employees at a Pembroke, N.H., jobsite has resulted in $79,500 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
National Store Fixtures Division of United Fixtures was cited for alleged willful and serious safety hazards following an OSHA inspection begun Nov. 22, 2006, after OSHA was informed about fall hazards at the site located on Route 106. OSHA found employees working without fall protection at heights greater than 15 feet while installing steel walls on the side of a steel frame storage building.
OSHA issued one willful citation, carrying the maximum proposed fine of $70,000, for the lack of fall protection. 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.
"This employer knew fall protection was required for these employees yet did not require them to use it, even though falls are the number one killer in construction work," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director in New Hampshire. "Effective fall protection is absolutely essential for safeguarding employees against death or crippling injuries."
The inspection also determined that the employees lacked a ladder to provide safe access to their work area and were not provided fall protection training that would have allowed them to identify fall hazards and protective measures. In addition, employees working beneath the steel erection activity did not wear head protection.
These conditions resulted in the issuance of three serious citations, with $9,500 in proposed fines. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Detailed information on fall protection and steel erection safety, including an interactive eTool, is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/steelerection/index.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Concord Area Office, telephone (603) 225-1629.
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 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. 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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