OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Regional 4 News Release
Wednesday, February 24, 1999
Contact: Luis Santiago (912) 652-4393
OSHA CITES TARPON SPRINGS, FLA., COMPANY FOR VIOLATIONS AT GARDEN CITY, GA., JOB SITE; PROPOSES PENALTIES TOTALING MORE THAN $130,000
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited Damalos & Sons, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $130,300 for safety and health violations at a Garden City, Ga., job site.
Damalos & Sons, headquartered in Tarpon Springs, Fla., employs 40 workers to perform lead paint removal and to repaint industrial structures.
According to Luis Santiago, OSHA's Savannah area director, the inspection was the result of a referral. Santiago explained that OSHA has conducted 14 inspections and cited the company for 14 repeat and 38 serious violations since it began operating in 1992. Most of the citations were issued for violations in connection with OSHA's construction lead standard.
The largest penalties following the Garden City inspection -- $88,000 -- were proposed for two willful violations of the lead standard. These included the company's failure to perform initial airborne lead exposure monitoring and failure to ensure that employees exposed to lead dust wore appropriate clothing, were provided a change area to remove lead contaminated clothing, and did not leave the job site wearing the contaminated work clothes.
Two repeat violations -- failing to ensure that vehicles used to transport workers were not contaminated by lead dust and failing to provide fall protection to employees working at elevated heights -- drew fines totaling $33,000.
Additional penalties of $7,500 were proposed for three serious violations involving hazards associated with working from scaffolds and protection from the transmission of blood borne pathogens.
The remaining penalty of $1,800 was proposed for one other-than-serious violation because the employer did not properly record illnesses on the illness and injury logs.
"Exposure to lead can have serious and sometimes permanently disabling consequences," said Santiago. "This employer chose to ignore the lead standards even though OSHA had cited the company previously for the same violations. This kind of blatant disregard for safety and health can cause employees to suffer adverse health effects of high blood lead levels including lead intoxication."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).
Serious violations are ones in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
An other-than-serious violation is one which does not have substantial probability of causing death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.
Inspections of the Garden City job site were conducted by OSHA's area office located at 450 Mall Boulevard, Suite J, Savannah, Ga. 31406-4864; telephone: (912) 652-4393.
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