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Connecticut Contractor Faces $196,000 in OSHA Fines for Demolition Safety Hazards

May 6, 2014
OSHA has cited Stamford, Conn.-based contractor Cesar Mendoza (dba KI Management LLC) for two willful and 12 serious violations carrying $196,000 in proposed fines.

OSHA has cited Stamford, Conn.-based contractor Cesar Mendoza (dba KI Management LLC) for two willful and 12 serious violations carrying $196,000 in proposed fines.

The citations stem from a November 2013 inspection at a Bridgeport, Conn., worksite, where OSHA allegedly found that workers demolishing and rehabbing a building were exposed to potentially fatal crushing injuries and other hazards due to the employer's failure to brace the building's walls and adhere to basic, legally required safeguards.

"This employer's disregard of basic demolition safety fundamentals is unacceptable,” OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels said. “The seriousness of this hazard can be seen in the June 5, 2013, building collapse in Philadelphia that killed six people and injured 14. While no collapse occurred in Bridgeport, the hazard was real, present and entirely avoidable."

OSHA cited Cesar Mendoza/KI Management for two willful violations ($140,000 in fines) for a wall collapse and fall hazards.

"The removal of flooring from the second and thirds floors left an empty, unsupported shell that was vulnerable to collapse," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "Employees at this job site were also exposed to falls of up to 36 feet from unguarded wall openings and to health hazards from inadequate measures to protect them from exposure to lead at the worksite. Worker safety and health were blatantly ignored."

OSHA cited the contractor for 12 serious violations ($56,000 in fines) for a variety of alleged health and safety hazards, including having workers dry-sweep and shovel lead-containing waste materials and debris, as well as failing to supply workers with proper training, respiratory protection, protective clothing and equipment.

In addition, employees received inadequate training on demolition, fall and fire protection and general safety measures, according to OSHA.  

Other alleged safety hazards included unmarked emergency exits, improper storage of oxygen and fuel gas cylinders and electrical hazards.

Cesar Mendoza/KI Management has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.

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