Fall, electrical and other safety hazards at a New Hampshire mall construction site may cost an Atlanta general contractor and nine of its subcontractors $173,000 in fines.
|Many of the contractors working at the outlet mall construction site were cited for exposing workers to fall hazards.|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited general contractor Hardin Construction Company LLC and the others after a programmed inspection at the Merrimack Premium Outlets shopping mall in Merrimack, NH. The mall opened to the public in July.
OSHA announced the citations Monday (Aug. 6).
No Painters Present
The inspection was initiated in January and did not include any painting subcontractors, an OSHA spokesman said. However, roofing, glazing and drywall contractors were all in the mix.
The three largest fines were for alleged violations by Hardin Construction; the roofing subcontractor, P&A Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., of Orlando, FL; and the steel framing contractor, F.L. Crane and Sons Inc., of Hutto, TX.
“Our inspection found workers exposed to a variety of common but avoidable hazards associated with construction work, notably falls and electric shocks,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s New Hampshire area director.
“Both of these hazards can kill or disable workers in seconds. For the safety of their employees, employers must adhere to required safeguards at all times on this and all job sites.”
OSHA cited Hardin Construction for five serious violations, carrying $27,000 in proposed fines. The citations involved:
• Employees exposed to falls of up to 20 feet;
• An ungrounded power generator;
• Unsecured and unmarked hole covers on the roof;
• Failure to supply fire extinguishers throughout the job site; and
• Lack of inspections by competent individuals with the knowledge to identify and authority to correct hazards.
Hardin Construction was issued past citations at other jobsites in 2008 and 2010, for annual summary, stairways and cast-in-place concrete requirement violations.
Hardin Construction said in an emailed statement Thursday (Aug. 9) that its citations accounted for a “small percentage (15%)” of the proposed total fines and that the company was discussing the citations with OSHA.
Hardin “took immediate action” during the inspection “to address any safety concerns raised by OSHA inspectors,” said the statement by Whitney Thrower, director of marketing and public relations.
Koralie Hill / OSHA
|OSHA recently launched a new campaign to protect workers from falls.|
Thrower added: “Hardin is proud of the safety success on the Merrimack Premium Outlets, with no lost time incidents over the course of 21 months of construction and approximately 300,000 manhours. ”
Thrower said the company managed an average of 40 U.S. projects involving more than 3 million manhours annually.
“For decades, Hardin Construction has consistently been recognized for safety performance and Worker’s Compensation Modification Rates that are significantly better than the national average,” Thrower said.
Roofing subcontractor P&A Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. was cited with $48,510 in fines for one willful and two serious violations involving:
• Employees exposed to falls of up to 20 feet;
• Lack of fall-protection training; and
• Failure to regularly dispose of flammable substances.
Steel framing contractor F.L. Crane and Sons Inc. received citations with $59,500 in fines for one repeat and two serious violations involving:
• Employees exposed to falls of up to 32 feet from scaffolds;
• Employees exposed to falls of 11 and 20 feet from other surfaces; and
• Insufficient machine guarding.
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. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious injury could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The other subcontractors cited, with their alleged violations and proposed fines, are:
• Palace Construction Inc. of Litchfield, NH, which performed siding and trim work (two serious violations related to fall and ladder hazards, $7,000);
• MasRam Mechanical LP of Houston, TX, which set HVAC units (two serious violations related to fall hazards, $7,000);
• Universal Timber Structures of Auburndale, FL (one serious violation involving the unauthorized modification of a truck used to lift employees, $3,850);
• Four Star Drywall LLC of Manchester, NH (two serious violations related to electrical and scaffold hazards, $5,940);
• Professional Electrical Contractors of CT Inc., of Norwood, MA (one serious violation involving an ungrounded power generator, $4,500);
• Paul Modzeleski d/b/a Sentry Roofing of Dunbarton, NH (two serious violations involving damaged safety lanyards and lack of fall protection training, $6,000); and
• J.M.D. Architectural Products Inc. (glazing contractor) of Tipp City, OH (two serious violations involving misused electrical equipment and unlabeled chemical containers, $4,200).
The companies have 15 business days from the receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA’s Stop Falls Campaign
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis launched a campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry.
According to the DOL more than 10,000 construction workers were injured and more than 250 workers were killed in falls from heights in 2010.