New Britain, Conn., Contractor Faces Fines for Fall Hazards

BMA General Contractors LLC is facing $140,000 in OSHA fines for fall hazards at two Connecticut work sites. The company was cited for similar hazards in 2006 and 2007.

OSHA cited BMA General Contractors for 15 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following OSHA inspections at worksites in Danielson and Newington, Conn. OSHA alleges BMA General Contractors failed to protect employees against potentially fatal falls and electrocution hazards.

OSHA found employees at both locations exposed to falls of 19 to 29 feet while working on scaffolds and on top of roofs without fall protection equipment or training. At the Danielson location, employees faced additional fall hazards from using ladders that did not extend at least 3 feet above the scaffold platform.

OSHA had cited BMA in 2006 and 2007 for similar hazards at worksites in Glastonbury and Norwich, Conn. As a result, OSHA issued BMA seven repeat citations, carrying $100,000 in proposed penalties, for the conditions found at the Danielson and Newington worksites.

“Falls are the most frequent cause of death in construction, and there is no justification for an employer's repeated failure to ensure that employees have the knowledge, training and equipment to identify and protect themselves against this most dangerous of hazards,” said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford.

Employees at both sites also had not been adequately trained in recognizing fall hazards and in the erection and dismantling of scaffolds, while employees at the Danielson site were exposed to electrocution hazards due to the draping of an energized 240-volt power line on top of and along the conductive aluminum frame scaffold on which they were working.

These conditions resulted in the issuance of eight serious citations with $40,000 in proposed fines. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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