U.S. Labor Department's OSHA Cites Georgia Contractor for Fall Hazards

A Georgia-based contractor, cited in November 2007 by OSHA following a fatal Oct. 3, 2007, fall at a Niagara Falls, N.Y., hotel construction site, now faces $86,000 in additional fines for failing to correct hazards cited during an earlier OSHA inspection and for a new fall hazard.

OSHA first cited and fined DEC Management $2,100 in August 2007 for failing to implement a fall protection program and provide fall protection training to employees working on the hotel construction project. A follow-up inspection to verify correction of those hazards found that they had not been corrected. As a result, OSHA now has issued the company two failure-to-abate notices carrying $84,000 in proposed fines.

The follow-up inspection also identified a new fall hazard: employees exposed to 16-foot falls from a second-floor deck. This finding resulted in the issuance of one serious citation with a $2,000 proposed fine. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“One life already has been lost in a fall at this jobsite,” said Arthur Dube, OSHA’s area director in Buffalo. “This employer’s ongoing failure to supply and ensure basic safeguards leaves these employees continually exposed to the number-one killer in construction work.”

On Nov. 8, 2007, OSHA cited and fined DEC Management $40,000 for a variety of fall hazards in connection with the Oct. 3 accident in which one employee was killed and another was injured when the pre-cast concrete panel on which they were standing shifted and fell 25 feet to the ground. An inspection to verify correction of the hazards cited during that inspection was opened on Jan. 16, 2008, and is ongoing.

DEC Management has 15 business days from receipt of its latest citations and fines to respond.

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