Posts Tagged ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’

OSHA Dings N.Y. Builder $224K for Fall Fatality

Employers have more work to do to make sure they protect their employees from hazards of falling.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Northridge Construction Corp. for willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company’s headquarters in East Patchogue, New York. The company faces $224,620 in penalties.

In December 2018, an employee suffered fatal injuries when a structure collapsed during installation of roof panels on a shed. OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to provide fall protection and protective helmets, did not ensure the structural integrity of the roof, and misused a ladder.

“Fall-related fatalities are preventable if employers use required fall protection systems, such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems,” said OSHA Long Island Area Director Anthony Ciuffo. “OSHA standards are legal requirements that every employer must follow to ensure workers are protected from serious injuries.”

Northridge Construction has contested the citations and proposed penalties to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov. Employers can find compliance assistance resources on protecting workers from falls at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/evaluation.html.

OSHA Reminder on Summer Work Hazards

Don’t let thoughts of summer fun interfere with your duty to maintain a safe workplace for your employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging vigilance among employers and employees to address the types of workplace hazards that tend to peak in the summer months.

Hazards related to heat exposure, falls, trenching and excavation, struck-by objects and vehicleselectrical safety, workplace violence, grain bin engulfment and other risks in agricultural operations have been at their highest in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska in July, August, and September in the past three years.

“OSHA encourages employers to develop safety and health programs, hold safety stand-downs and toolbox talks, and conduct daily safety meetings to discuss common hazards,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille in Kansas City, Missouri. “Employers are required to provide workplace safety training to improve employees’ ability to identify, evaluate, and effectively prevent safety and health hazards on the job.”

OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign encourages every workplace to have a safety and health program. OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs offers practical advice on how an organization can create and integrate safety and health programs.

OSHA offers compliance assistance for small- and medium-sized businesses at no charge. Each state has an On-Site Consultation Program, a no-cost and confidential program to help employers learn about potential hazards at their workplace and to improve safety and health programs.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

My thanks to Jon Hyman of the Ohio Employer Law Blog for highlighting this blog post in his weekly roundup of Friday, July 19.

$174K Penalty in Employee’s Death From Fall

This medical center’s indifference to worker safety resulted in a worker’s death after he received an electrical shock. And for that it must pay up.

An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has issued a decision affirming all safety and health citations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) against Jersey City Medical Center. OSHA cited the medical center – based in Jersey City, New Jersey – for electrical hazards after a maintenance employee’s fatal fall after receiving an electric shock. The judge also affirmed OSHA’s proposed penalties totaling $174,593.

In June 2016, the decedent – who was untrained in electrical safety work practices – was repairing a ceiling light fixture when the incident occurred. The judge found that the employer willfully failed to train the employee for the hazardous electrical work he was directed to perform. A three-day hearing was held in New York City in April 2018, and the decision from OSHRC issued on June 17, 2019.

“The outcome of this case shows the employer will be held accountable for willfully exposing employees to serious hazards, and the U.S. Department of Labor stands ready to litigate such issues when employers refuse to accept responsibility,” said the Department’s Regional Solicitor Jeffrey S. Rogoff, in New York.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

Trucking Co. On Hook Bigtime for Firing Driver Who Wouldn’t Take Road in Inclement Weather

I’ll bet this trucking company will think twice before it again orders one of its drivers to take the wheel in bad weather.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Freight Rite Inc. – based in Florence, Kentucky – to reinstate a truck driver terminated after he refused to operate a commercial motor vehicle in hazardous road conditions caused by inclement winter weather. OSHA ordered the company to pay the driver $31,569 in back wages and interest, $100,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney fees, and to refrain from retaliating against the employee.

OSHA inspectors determined that the employee advised the company’s management of his reasonable apprehension of danger to himself and to the general public due to the hazardous road conditions. The termination is a violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).

In addition to reinstating the employee and clearing his personnel file of any reference to the issues involved in the investigation, the employer must also post a notice informing all employees of their whistleblower protections under STAA.

“Forcing drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle during inclement weather places their lives and the lives of others at risk,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer, in Atlanta, Georgia. “This order underscores the agency’s commitment to protect workers who exercise their right to ensure the safety of themselves and the general public.”

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of STAA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Broken Arm Sets Back Employer $106K

Hopefully this fine sends a message to other employers to step up the safe operations of their machinery.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corp. after an employee suffered a broken arm while servicing a machine at its Napoleon, Ohio, facility. The company faces proposed penalties of $106,080 for one repeat and three serious safety violations.

OSHA’s investigation found the aluminum can manufacturer failed to lockout the machine that caused the employee’s injury. The Agency cited the company for its failure to train employees on energy control procedures, perform periodic inspections of energy control procedures, and guard the machine’s pinch point. OSHA cited Silgan Containers for similar violations at its Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, plant in 2015.

“Employers are required to train their employees on proper lockout/tag out procedures to prevent the release of stored energy or unexpected startup of equipment,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberly Nelson in Toledo, Ohio.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on lockout-tagout hazards on OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy page and the interactive eTool.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov/.

Home Improvement Company, Owner Socked With $1.7M Fine for Ignoring Fall Protections

A fine, even a million dollar one, is too lenient for this company which willfully failed to train its workers on the hazards of falling, resulting in an employee’s death.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Shawn D. Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc. for egregious willful, repeat, and serious workplace safety violations. Purvis – a Saco, Maine, roofing contractor – faces a total of $1,792,726 in penalties. The enforcement action follows the death of an employee in Portland, Maine, on December 13, 2018.

OSHA inspectors found that Purvis knowingly failed to ensure the use of fall protection by his employees at the Portland worksite, and at a separate worksite in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Due to Purvis’ knowledge of the hazard and required safeguards, along with an extensive history of violations, OSHA cited him for 13 egregious willful violations – one for each exposed employee per job site – for failing to ensure the use of fall protection. Each egregious citation carries the maximum allowable penalty of $132,598. OSHA also cited Purvis for failing to provide fall protection training to his employees, and for exposing them to electrocution and eye hazards. OSHA has cited the owner for seven violations of fall protection requirements since September 2006.

“Effective fall protection can prevent tragedies like this when an employer ensures the proper use of legally required lifesaving protection,” said OSHA Area Director David McGuan, in Augusta, Maine. “An ongoing refusal to follow the law exposes other employees to potentially fatal or disabling injuries. Employers cannot evade their responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful worksite.”

View the Portland and Old Orchard Beach citations.

On April 5, 2019, a Portland grand jury indicted Purvis for manslaughter and workplace manslaughter, charging that his repeated violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards caused his employee’s death.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on fall hazards on the OSHA Fall Protection webpage at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/.

Purvis has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.  For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

Employers can find compliance assistance resources related to OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/cas.html.

Safety Violations Set Back Fla. Contractor $220K

This contractor’s indifference to safety at its residential construction sites proved costly for its workers, and its bottom line.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited four Florida-based residential construction contractors for exposing employees to safety hazards at a Naples, Florida, worksite. The four companies received 12 citations collectively, totaling $220,114 in proposed penalties.

An employee suffered serious injuries after a fall at the Avery Square residential construction site. In conjunction with the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction, OSHA conducted an inspection with the injured worker’s employer, Southern Living Contractors Inc. OSHA cited the company for failing to provide fall protection to employees engaged in roofing activities.

Inspectors witnessed several other safety hazards associated with other contractors at the site. OSHA cited Crown Roofing LLC for failing to provide fall protection, improper use of a ladder, and exposing employees to struck-by hazards from falling construction debris.

OSHA also cited Paramount Drywall Inc. – operating as Paramount Stucco LLC – for exposing employees to fall hazards, failing to provide fall protection, and permitting employees to climb the scaffold frame instead of an approved ladder to access the work platform.

Additionally, OSHA cited Sunny Grove Landscaping and Nursery Inc. for exposing employees to struck-by hazards from falling debris.

Read the citations for Southern Living Contractors Inc., Crown Roofing LLCParamount Drywall Inc., and Sunny Grove Landscaping and Nursery Inc.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.