Region 1 News Release: 11-729-BOS/BOS 2011-181
May 19, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department secures decision affirming OSHA citations
and $89,000 in fines against Pittsfield, NH, contractor
Summer and Winter Construction cited for fall hazards in Hanover and Manchester, NH
BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has won a decision in a matter before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission upholding citations for willful, repeat and serious safety violations and $89,000 in fines proposed by the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration against Summer and Winter Construction LLC, a Pittsfield, N.H., roofing contractor.
OSHA issued the citations and fines in September 2009, after inspections revealed that Summer and Winter Construction employees were exposed to falls of up to 16 feet and other hazards at work sites in Hanover and Manchester, N.H. The citations and penalties reflected the seriousness of the hazards and the company's history of prior violations at other work sites.
The company contested the citations and fines to the review commission. A hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge Dennis L. Phillips, who issued a decision affirming the citations and ordering Summer and Winter Construction to pay the penalties.
"This verdict is a complete victory for workers in New Hampshire and elsewhere," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Employers that repeatedly fail to supply basic, common-sense safeguards will face legal consequences, just as their employees can face death or disabling injuries when such safeguards are absent from their workplaces."
"Employers should be aware that the Department of Labor will actively pursue appropriate legal measures to protect the lives and well-being of America's workers when their employers fail to do so," said Michael Felsen, the Labor Department's regional solicitor for New England.
The company has 20 days from the date the administrative law judge's decision is docketed with the review commission to appeal. OSHA's Concord Area Office conducted the inspections leading to citations. The case was litigated for OSHA by senior trial attorney Paul Katz from the department's Boston Regional Solicitor's Office.
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 ensure 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.
OSHRC Docket Numbers: 09-1796 & 09-1797
Secretary of Labor v. Summer and Winter Construction LLC
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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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.