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Region 6 News Release: 11-107-DAL
March 21, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4709
E-mail: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA notifies FAA's Lakefront Air Traffic
Control Tower in New Orleans of workplace safety violations

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Notices of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions to the Federal Aviation Administration's Lakefront Airport Air Traffic Control Tower in New Orleans for exposing workers to possible fire hazards.

OSHA began an inspection on Sept. 22, 2010, as part of its Airport Air Traffic Control Tower Monitoring Program, which found violations of the Alternate Standard for Fire Safety in Airport Traffic Control Towers. Notices have been issued for six alleged repeat violations and one alleged serious violation.

Repeat violations include improper use of electrical equipment such as relocatable power taps; failing to correct deficiencies in the fire alarm system and stair tower pressurization system; failing to provide a facility emergency action plan and a fire prevention plan; and failing to ensure fire drills are performed. A repeat OSHA notice is issued when a federal agency has been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition within the same OSHA region during the past three years. The FAA was cited in 2009 and 2010 for similar violations at other sites in the region.

The serious notice was issued for failing to provide a facility compliance program. A serious notice 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.

As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, federal agencies must comply with the same safety standards as private sector employers. The federal agency equivalent to a private sector citation is the Notice of Unsafe and Unhealthful Working Conditions. The notice is used to inform establishment officials of violations of OSHA standards, alternate standards and 29 Code of Federal Regulations citable program elements. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with its standards.

The FAA has 15 business days from receipt of the notices to comply or request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Baton Rouge office at 225-298-5458. 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 Section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and Executive Order 12196, the head of each federal agency is responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for all employees 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 news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


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