OSHA has issued citations and a proposed fine of $101,000 against a Guam construction firm for numerous willful violations of federal safety and health standards despite previous OSHA citations for the same fall hazards.
OSHA delivered citations to R&C Corp. following a November OSHA inspection at the Pacific Islands Club, Phase 3 Expansion Project. R&C employees, working as high as 16 feet above the ground, were not protected from falls. R&C employs approximately 126 employees on major construction projects worldwide. The $38-million dollar Pacific Islands Club addition entails working on a 26-story hotel tower.
R&C received citations for two willful violations and one serious violation. The willful violations are for instances where the company failed to provide fall protection from scaffold platforms and the building structure. In one case, workers applying plaster to the building structure worked along an unprotected scaffold platform 13 feet above the ground. In another, an employee, 16 feet above ground level, who assisted in lifting a sanding machine up the structure was also without equipment to prevent a fall. The willful violations include penalties of $45,000 each.
The serious violation is for failure to guard exposed reinforcing steel bars to prevent injuries to employees who could fall onto them. The penalty is $2,000.
R&C has received several previous citations for failure to provide adequate fall protection from scaffolds and building structures. Since 1983, OSHA has cited the company for 173 violations, including 17 citations for failure to provide fall protection from scaffolds and 12 citations for failure to provide fall protection from structures. Of the 29 fall protection citations, there were 11 serious violations, 16 repeat violations and 2 willful violations.
"These types of cases are particularly frustrating because the employer largely ignored previous OSHA efforts to encourage the correction of obviously hazardous conditions," said Leonard Limtiaco, director of the OSHA team that conducted the inspection. "By so doing, the employer knowingly put his employees at risk of death or serious injury."