Subcontractor Fined for Risking Workers' Lives

Lawrence Johnson Masonry was fined after an unscheduled inspection last August revealed that employees were working on scaffolds with no fall protection.

A subcontractor installing masonry and brick for the Harrah's Casino Parking Garage Complex in New Orleans, La. will pay the price for gambling with its workers' lives.

OSHA has cited Lawrence Johnson Masonry, New Orleans, La., for five alleged safety violations with proposed penalties of $82,750.

The violations were discovered during an unscheduled inspection conducted on Aug. 6, 1999 when bricklayers and framers were working on scaffolds with no fall protection.

OSHA cited the company with three willful and two serious violations.

One of the willful violations was for not properly constructing scaffolding used by employees.

The second willful violation was for not having the work platform at least 18 inches wide to provide workers adequate space for moving or turning while on the platform.

The third willful violation was for not having proper access to the work platform of the scaffold. According to the OSH Act, unless the scaffold framework is specifically designed with a built in ladder, workers are not allowed to climb the framework.

The company was also cited for allowing construction debris to build up a the scaffolding base and for not properly training employees on how to recognize and evaluate the hazards of working on scaffolding.

Lawrence Johnson Masonry has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Baton Rouge area director, or to contest the citations and penalties.

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