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Region 2 News Release: 08-516-NEW/BOS 2008-118
April 18, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 215-861-5101


U.S. Labor Department's OSHA fines 11 contractors more than $135,000 for fall hazards at Walden Galleria Mall construction project in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Eleven contractors, chiefly from western and central New York, have been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to protect their employees against fall hazards during the Walden Galleria Mall construction project in Cheektowaga, N.Y. The employers face combined penalties totaling $135,700.

"What's disturbing is the breadth and frequency of fall hazards observed throughout this jobsite, encompassing a wide variety of construction trades," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "This situation is unacceptable. Falls are the number one killer in construction work. It takes only one misstep, be it from a roof, scaffold, ladder or into a hole, to cause death or disabling injury."

OSHA's conducted an inspection in response to a complaint alleging fall hazards. The agency identified a variety of such hazards, including lack of fall protection for employees working at heights of 6 feet or greater; missing or inadequate guardrails; an uncovered storm drain; ladder deficiencies; a missing stairway, ramp or ladder; an employee tied off to the basket of a boom truck while standing on a roof; and lack of fall protection training and programs.

The largest fine, $78,500, was proposed against GVH Development Inc., the mall project's general contractor, for alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of fall and other safety standards. Also cited were the following subcontractors: CBO Glass [$16,000]; Guard Contracting Corp., demolition and carpentry [$12,000]; Alpha Masonry Construction Co. [$7,500]; E.B. Atlas Steel Corp.[$5,400]; Greater Electric Corp. [$4,500]; Single Ply Systems Inc., roofer [$3,600]; S. Federowicz Construction Inc., concrete flatwork [$2,500]; JC Construction, drywall [$2,250]; Edwards Excavating LLC, plumbing and excavation [$1,950]; and Gordon & Zoerb Electrical Contractors Inc. [$1,500].

Detailed information on fall protection, including an interactive eTool, is available on OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html. Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office; telephone 716-551-3053.

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. Repeat citations are issued when an employer previously has been cited for similar hazards, and those citations have become final.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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.

Note: A chart breaking down citations and fines by employer follows this news release.


OSHA citations and proposed penalties Walden Galleria Mall Cheektowaga, N.Y.
GVH Development Inc., Utica, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $78,500
  • One willful citation for failure to provide fall protection [$56,000].
  • Four repeat citations for failure to provide safe access to and from a scissors lift platform; no fall protection while working at roof’s edge; no fall hazard training; and ungrounded and damaged extension cord [$17,400].
  • Three serious citations for employee working from elevated forks of a forklift; debris not kept clear from base of a ladder; and impalement hazard from protruding rebar [$5,100].
CBO Glass, Buffalo, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $16,000
  • Seven serious citations for failure to provide fall protection; no scaffold guardrail; no jobsite inspections; failure to provide access to a scaffold; employee tied off to the basket of a boom truck while standing on a roof; inappropriate ladder use; and lack of appropriate traffic controls.
Guard Contracting Corp., Youngstown, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $12,000
  • One repeat citation for failure to provide fall protection [$10,000].
  • Two serious citations for no jobsite inspections and guardrail of inadequate height. [$2,000].
Alpha Masonry Construction Co. Inc., Orchard Park, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $7,500
  • One repeat citation for failure to provide fall protection.
E.B. Atlas Steel Corp., Buffalo, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $5,400
  • Three serious citations for failure to provide fall protection; ladder of inadequate height; and improper storage of compressed gas cylinders.
Greater Electric Corp., Utica, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $4,500
  • One repeat citation for failure to provide fall protection [$3,000].
  • One serious citation for lack of fall hazard training [$1,500].
Single Ply Systems Inc., Eagan, Minn. Total proposed penalties: $3,600
  • Two serious citations for no warning lines to provide safe path to roof work area and stairway, ramp or ladder not used by employees jumping from 3-foot parapet.
S. Federowicz Construction Inc., West Seneca, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $2,500
  • Two serious citations for failure to provide fall protection and no jobsite inspections.
JC Construction, Utica, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $2,250
  • Two serious citations for failure to provide fall protection and not wearing safety glasses while drilling.
Edwards Excavating LLC, Oneida, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $1,950
  • Two serious citations for an ineffectively covered storm drain that exposed employees to a 9-foot-deep hole and not wearing eye protection where necessary.
Gordon & Zoerb Electrical Contractors Inc., Buffalo, N.Y. Total proposed penalties: $1,500
  • One serious citation for failure to provide fall protection.
Total proposed penalties for all employers: $135,700

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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 (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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.
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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