Chief Administrative Law Judge Covette Rooney recently upheld citations and penalties for Flintlock Construction Service, finding the company had knowledge of safety hazards at a 23-story hotel project in Manhattan, New York.
An OSHA inspection found that Flintlock failed to protect employees working on scaffolds from potentially fatal falls of up to 26 feet. In September 2013, OSHA cited Flintlock for willful and serious violations and proposed $249,920 in penalties.
The company appealed the charges to OSHA’s independent review commission, saying violations were not willful because its corporate principals did not have knowledge of the hazards and Flintlock made at least a minimal attempt at compliance.
The court held Flintlock responsible for the oversight of safe working conditions and determined it was the controlling employer at the "325 Project" worksite. The judge found Flintlock had knowledge of the hazards and the authority to have its subcontractors correct safety hazards and ordered the contractor to pay the penalties.
"This was a clear case of an employer knowingly placing its employees at risk of deadly or disabling injuries caused by the number one killer in construction work – falls,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Judge Rooney's decision upholds our findings and reiterates an important fact: Employers cannot ignore their legal responsibility to safeguard their employees and adhere to workplace safety standards."
Flintlock Construction Services LLC has filed a petition for discretionary review with the review commission.
The full decision and order can be read here.