New Orleans Masonry Cited - Again - for Scaffolding Hazards

For allowing employees to work on a scaffold with missing guardrails and planking, OSHA has proposed fines against Lawrence Johnson Masonry in New Orleans of $126,000.

"OSHA standards for scaffold safety are designed to protect workers from falls, but this company has been cited almost a dozen times for ignoring them," said John Deifer, area director for OSHA's Baton Rouge office. "By neglecting to provide guardrails, employees were exposed to a 30-foot fall hazard."

OSHA began its investigation July 16 when an OSHA investigator observed an employee at the work site on Religious Street in New Orleans working on an unsafe scaffold.

Lawrence Johnson Masonry was cited with three willful violations for failing to provide adequate scaffolding material to fully plank the scaffold platform, failing to provide proper access to the scaffold and for failing to provide guardrails to prevent a fall hazard.

OSHA has inspected the company five times - once in 1994, twice in 1999 and twice in 2001 issuing a total of 11 scaffolding violations, including three willful violations.

Lawrence Johnson Masonry has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to pay the fine, request an informal conference with the Baton Rouge OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review commission.

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