The citations and penalties stem from an April 2010 OSHA investigation, which was conducted as part of a local emphasis program focusing on fall hazards in construction. As a result of the investigation, the agency has cited the company for one willful violation with a penalty of $49,000, and three serious violations with penalties totaling $4,200.
“It is the employer’s responsibility to prevent fall hazards at construction sites by providing workers with appropriate safety equipment,” said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA’s area office in Wilkes Barre, Pa. “More than 5,000 working men and women die on the job every year in America because of preventable injuries. And each year more than 4 million others suffer from serious occupational injuries that also could have been avoided.”
The willful violation has been issued for failing to adhere to OSHA’s standard requiring fall protection for employees working on roofs higher than 6 feet. A willful violation is one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employees’ safety and health.
The serious violations are for lack of fall protection on a ladder jack scaffold, improper scaffold access and lack of hard hat use. A serious citation is issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Wilkes Barre or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.