Region 1 News Release: 11-123-BOS/BOS 2011-035
Feb. 4, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Dracut, Mass., contractor, proposes
nearly $54,000 in fines for fall hazards at Tewksbury, Mass., jobsite
ANDOVER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Georgoulis Construction Inc. for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards for fall hazards at a Tewksbury worksite. The Dracut roofing contractor faces a total of $53,900 in proposed fines.
The citations and penalties stem from an OSHA inspection opened Nov. 10, 2010. An OSHA inspector en route to his office observed employees exposed to apparent fall hazards while driving by 279 Chandler St. An inspection was opened on the spot. OSHA found Georgoulis employees exposed to falls while working atop a roof greater than 6 feet without any fall protection. They were exposed to an additional fall hazard while accessing the roof by using a ladder that did not extend at least 3 feet above the landing surface for required stability.
"The size of this penalty reflects the gravity of the hazard and the employer's knowledge of its existence," said Jeffery A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "A fall can occur in seconds but the resulting injuries can be permanent or end a life. There's no reason for failing to provide this essential and legally required safeguard for workers."
As a result of its inspection, OSHA has issued Georgoulis Construction one willful citation with a $49,000 fine for the lack of fall protection and one serious citation with a fine of $4,900 for the ladder hazard. 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. OSHA issues a serious citation 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 for workers and employers on construction fall hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.
Georgoulis Construction 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. This latest inspection was conducted by OSHA's Andover Area Office; telephone 978- 837-4460. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency'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.