Region 1 News Release: 09-97-BOS/BOS 2009-025
Thurs., Jan. 29, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Fall hazards at New Haven, Conn., worksite lead to nearly $62,000 in U.S. Labor Department OSHA fines for Stratford, Conn., roofing contractor
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Domack Roofing LLC of Stratford, Conn., for alleged willful, serious and repeat violations of safety standards at a New Haven, Conn., worksite. The roofing contactor faces $61,800 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection prompted by an employee complaint.
OSHA found that Domack employees were exposed to falls from 40 to 60 feet while working without fall protection on the third floor and the roof of a building at 2 Ella Grasso Blvd. Additional fall hazards were posed by the lack of stair rails and guardrails on the stairways and landings used to access the building's upper floors, the use of a ladder that did not extend three feet beyond its landing surface and lack of employee training. Employees also were exposed to possible electric shock or burns from a temporary lighting lamp that was not guarded against accidental contact.
"Falls are the number one killer in construction work," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "A lack of fall protection and training leaves employees just a slip or a misstep away from a deadly or disabling plunge."
Specifically, OSHA issued Domack two willful citations, with $56,000 in fines, for the lack of fall protection; four serious citations, with $3,800 in fines, for the training, ladder and lamp hazards; and one repeat citation, with a $2,000 fine, for failing to train the third floor balcony employee to recognize fall hazards. OSHA cited the company in December 2007 for similar hazards at a Bridgeport worksite.
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. Detailed fall protection information is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.
Domack Roofing has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to meet with OSHA or to contest them to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Bridgeport Area Office; telephone 203-579-5581.
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.
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.