Region 1 News Release: 11-1742-BOS/BOS 2011-402
Dec. 13, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $110,000 in fines against New
London, Conn., contractor for fall and other hazards at Old Lyme work site
HARTFORD, Conn. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited G.A. Denison & Sons Inc. for 14 alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at an Old Lyme work site. The New London contractor faces a total of $110,000 in proposed fines.
OSHA's enforcement action follows an inspection opened June 7, when Denison & Sons employees were observed being exposed to falls from heights of 15–26 feet while working without protection on both a scaffold and the roof of a building located at 69 Lyme St.
In addition, OSHA found employees exposed to fall hazards while improperly climbing ladders and climbing ladders while carrying materials on their shoulders, as well as to head injuries from working without hard hats. These conditions resulted in citations for five willful violations carrying $73,700 in fines. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Nine serious violations, with $36,300 in fines, have been cited for several other hazardous conditions, including overloaded scaffolding, a lack of eye protection for employees using nail guns, inadequate scaffold access, a lack of protection against falling objects, and a failure to provide employees with fall protection, scaffold and ladder training. A serious violation occurs 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.
OSHA has placed G.A. Denison & Sons in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in June 2010, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on SVEP, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.
Detailed information on fall protection and scaffolding hazards and safeguards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GADennison-SonsInc-314405861-12052011-1A.pdf.
G.A. Denison & Sons Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Hartford Area Office at 860-240-3152.
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.
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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.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.