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Region 1 News Release: 10-1052-BOS/BOS 2010-329
Thurs., July 29, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Fall River, Mass., contractor
for fall, scaffolding and electrical hazards at East Providence, RI, jobsite

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a total of $60,000 in fines against Homeland Builders Inc., a Fall River, Mass., contractor, for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following the agency's inspection of an East Providence, R.I., jobsite.

OSHA inspectors driving by a building under construction at 295 Willett Ave. observed Homeland Builders workers exposed to apparent fall hazards and opened an inspection on the spot. OSHA found that the scaffold on which the employees were working lacked adequate guardrails and a safe means of access, and one leg of the scaffold was not set on a firm foundation, exposing workers to falls of up to 12 feet to the ground. In addition, the workers lacked eye and head protection, were using an unguarded grinder, and were exposed to electric shock hazards from cut and frayed electrical cords and ungrounded cords and equipment.

"These workers faced potential death or serious injury from these conditions, several of which were similar to those for which OSHA cited this employer in the past," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's area director for Rhode Island. "While it is fortunate that no one was injured here, good luck is never an acceptable worker safeguard. For the safety and well-being of its workers, this employer must take effective, ongoing action to prevent these hazards from recurring."

As a result of its findings, OSHA has issued Homeland Builders three repeat citations with $52,500 in fines for the fall, guardrail and eye protection hazards, and four serious citations with $7,500 in fines for the remaining items. 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. The repeat citations stem from OSHA having cited Homeland Builders in 2007 and 2008 for similar hazards at jobsites in Braintree, Mass., and Milford, Conn.

Detailed information on fall protection and scaffold work is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.

Homeland Builders has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Providence Area Office, telephone 401-528-4669. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.

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 http://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 http://www.dol.gov/compliance.


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