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OSHA News Release – Region 2
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 2 News Release: 07-1779-NEW/BOS 2007-353
Thurs., Nov. 15, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- A Queens-based contractor faces $30,850 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a cave-in hazard at a Bronx jobsite. FXR Construction Corp., doing business as DEV Construction, of Bayshore, has been cited for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a parking garage and commercial building under construction at 1250 Waters Place in the Bronx.
An OSHA inspection found employees performing rebar and concrete formwork in a seven-foot, six-inch deep excavation that lacked any protection against collapse. The 110-foot-long excavation also lacked a safe means of egress for employees, and a pile of excavated spoils was located at its edge. Elsewhere on the jobsite, uncompleted stairs were used to access upper building levels and employees were not trained to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions.
"This employer knew cave-in protection is required for all excavations five feet or deeper yet did not provide this vital and necessary safeguard," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown, N.Y. "While it is fortunate that no cave-in occurred, the hazard was real and present. The walls of an unprotected excavation can collapse without warning, burying employees beneath tons of soil and debris before they can react or escape."
OSHA consequently issued FXR one willful citation, with a proposed fine of $28,000, for the lack of cave-in protection, and four serious citations, with $2,850 in proposed fines, for the other conditions. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office (telephone 914-524-7510) under an emphasis program that identifies and targets for inspections construction projects in specific areas in Bronx, Westchester and Rockland counties.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. 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. FXR has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA has posted a trenching "Quick Card," an interactive eTool and other detailed information on excavation safety on its Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/constructiontrenching/index.html to help employers understand how to comply with regulations and protect employees.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found more than 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces 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. Department of Labor 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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