OSHA Fines New York Contractor for Scaffold Hazards

A New York painting and stucco contractor is facing stiff fines proposed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.  OSHA inspectors saw hazards when driving by worksites of the contractor and opened inspections. The inspectors cited the contractor for 15 workplace safety violations. The inspections covered two Kings Point, New York, jobsites and resulted in proposed fines totaling $225,200.

The largest fines were levied for eight willful citations for and failing to provide sufficient fall protection. Willful violations are those in which the employer commits a violation with indifference or intentional disregard for worker safety. Inspectors discovered scaffolds not fully planked, the contractor failed to provide an access ladder, scaffolds were not resting properly on base plates and the contractor failed to provide proper protection for falls at both work sites. The eight largest citations amounted to $200,000 in fines.

OSHA inspectors also found railings, toeboards, and bracing missing at the two sites resulting in six serious violations. A serious violation is issued when an employer knew or should have known about hazards existing at a jobsite that are likely to result in death or serious injury. The six serious violations resulted in $5,200 in fines.

A $20,000 fine was also issued for a repeat citation based upon the contractor’s failure to properly train workers regarding scaffolding at one of the sites. The contractor had previously been cited in 2007 and 2008 for similar violations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued the sizable fines due to the inherent danger in working with scaffolds and the employer’s neglect to implement “basic, commonsense and legally required safeguards.”

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