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Region 3 News Release: 13-2164-PHI (osha 13-109)
Nov. 18, 2013
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Luthersburg, Pa., contractor cited for willful fall hazards at Williamsport, Pa.,
site; US Labor Department's OSHA proposes nearly $37,000 in fines

LUTHERSBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited roofing contractor Airworks Construction, based at 818 Shuckers Orchard Road in Luthersburg, for safety violations, including one willful, found while workers were replacing a roof on a residence in Williamsport. OSHA's August inspection was prompted by a complaint alleging fall hazards and was part of the agency's regional and national emphasis programs on construction falls. Proposed penalties total $36,960.

"Fall protection is critical when working on roofs," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office. "To establish a safe and protective workplace, employers must provide effective fall protection and ensure workers are trained to recognize and address fall hazards."

The willful violation, carrying a $30,800 penalty, was due to the company's failure to provide workers with fall protection while working from the roof surface, resulting in exposure to fall hazards of up to 22 feet. 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.

Three serious violations, with a $6,160 penalty, were cited for failing to ensure use of eye protection when operating a pneumatic nailer; use of a safety harness when working from an aerial lift and associated training; and proper use of portable ladders. 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 created a Stop Falls Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

Airworks Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Wilkes-Barre, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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 Wilkes-Barre Area Office at 570-826-6538.

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 303-693-7838 or TTY 303-693-7755.


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