Region 2 News Release: 11-35-NEW/BOS 2011-018
Jan. 18, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Binghamton, NY,
demolition contractor $52,500 for fall and lead hazards
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited MJ Scoville Inc., a Binghamton, N.Y., demolition contractor, for nine willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at a building renovation site at 83 Court St. in Binghamton. The contractor faces a total of $52,500 in proposed fines, chiefly for fall and lead hazards.
OSHA's inspection found Scoville employees exposed to falls of up to 40 feet while working without fall protection as they took down the walls of a fourth floor elevator shaft as well as 14-foot falls from an unguarded scaffold. The employer also failed to conduct personal air monitoring to determine lead exposure levels for employees performing demolition work with materials known to be covered with lead paint, and did not implement interim protective measures including respiratory protection, biological monitoring, medical surveillance, clean change areas and employee training on lead hazards.
"These are two of the most common and well-known hazards workers can face during demolition operations and must be effectively addressed by the employer on each and every jobsite," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "Falls can injure or kill a worker in seconds while lead exposure can damage the kidneys and the central nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive and hematological systems."
The company was issued two willful citations with $42,000 in fines and seven serious citations with $10,500 in fines. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health. A serious citation is issued 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.
Detailed information on these and other hazards associated with demolition work, as well as solutions and safeguards, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/constructiondemolition/index.html.
MJ Scoville Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse Area Office; telephone 315-451-0808. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.