“Cannon Builders knew that its employees were exposed to fall hazards, yet made a conscious decision to disregard OSHA’s requirements for fall protection,” said Dean Ikeda, OSHA’s acting regional administrator in Seattle. “The company also failed to require the wearing of reflective vests in high automobile traffic areas, despite a heightened awareness of the need for such protective gear.”
OSHA’s investigation found two alleged willful violations, 11 alleged serious violations, two alleged repeat citations and three alleged other-than-serious violations.
The willful violations involve the employer’s failure to provide and enforce the wearing of high visibility vests by employees working on heavily traveled roadways, and to provide adequate fall protection for employees. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health.
The serious violations are related to failing to provide hazard recognition instruction, housekeeping of work and storage areas, proper handling and storage of compressed gas cylinders and welding equipment, stable access to elevated work areas, a properly designed horizontal lifeline system, proper anchorage for fall protection, safe egress from deep excavations, a means to keep materials and equipment from entering excavations, safe access to tops of pier caps and lack of competent person inspections for excavations prior to employee entry or for excavations exceeding 5 feet. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
The repeat violations address failure to provide a trained person to perform regular and frequent worksite inspections, and to provide employees with fall protection training instructions.
The other-than-serious alleged violations involved failure to cap a gasoline can, repair an extension cord and replace a damaged ladder.
Detailed information on construction safety is available on OSHA’s Web site at http://www.osha.gov/doc/index.html.
Cannon Builders has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Boise, Idaho, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.