|The seal of the United States Department of Labor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited DD Stucco and Renovation LLC for six safety — including two willful — violations related to fall hazards at a Mountain Lakes work site. OSHA opened an inspection in November 2011 as part of its local emphasis program on falls and proposed a total of $108,240 in penalties.
"This company is risking worker injury and possible death by failing to provide proper fall protection," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office, which conducted the inspection. "Employers need to know that falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, and proper precautions must be taken."
The willful violations carry a $92,400 penalty and are due to a lack of fall protection for employees working on a scaffold that was not fully planked. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Four serious violations, which carry a $15,840 penalty, are for a scaffold that was not secured to the structure or supported on an adequate firm foundation, unstable objects used to support the scaffold and employees climbing across braces to access the scaffold. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a new campaign to provide employers and workers with life-saving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed. OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More detailed information is available in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
"Fall hazards involving these and other safety issues can be avoided when an illness and injury prevention program is developed and implemented, and management and workers proactively identify and eliminate hazardous conditions," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DDStucco_316089713_0521_12.pdf*.
DD Stucco and Renovation is headquartered in Clifton and had three workers at the Mountain Lakes site. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Parsippany office at 973-263-1003.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.