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Region 9 News Release: 10-128-SAN (SF-28)
Feb. 4, 2010 (Pacific Standard Time)
Contact: Deanne Amaden
Phone: 415-625-2630, e-mail:amaden.deanne@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Guam painters BME & Sons Inc. $51,200 in proposed penalties for fall protection violations

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited BME & Sons Inc. $51,200 in proposed penalties for alleged fall protection safety violations at a jobsite in Apra Heights, Guam.

OSHA cited the company for an alleged willful violation, assessing a proposed penalty of $44,000 for failing to provide fall protection while working on the second and third levels of a building in November 2009. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

OSHA also cited six alleged serious violations, assessing a proposed penalty of $7,200 for failing to properly supervise installation of horizontal lifelines and anchorages, provide a competent person to inspect employees' fall protection harnesses and lanyards, and inspect personal fall arrest systems prior to use and remove from service lanyards with missing identification labels. The employer also required workers to pay for the fall protection harnesses and lanyards, and did not prepare a written certification record documenting fall protection training for each employee exposed to fall hazards at the site. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"These violations occurred because BME & Sons failed to follow basic safety and health requirements despite repeated citations in the past," said Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in San Francisco. "These violations had the potential of resulting in the death or serious injury of one or more of the company's employees."

OSHA has cited the painting contractor 12 times since 2005, including issuing a serious citation for the same fall protection standard in 2005. Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.

BME & Sons, based in Barrigada, Guam, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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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.


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