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NY Contractor Fined $47K in FL Job

Friday, November 9, 2012

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Employees working at heights without fall protection and other alleged hazards in Florida have drawn nine federal safety violations, including one willful violation, and $47,000 in proposed fines against a New York contractor.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited RCP Services Inc., of Saratoga Springs, NY, after an OSHA inspector in Florida noticed in August that workers at an apartment complex in Jacksonville were working without fall protection.

Willful, Serious Violations

The willful violation—OSHA’s highest level of infraction—alleges that employees were working “on elevated surfaces without fall protection.” The citation carries a $35,000 penalty.

OSHA Fall Prevention Campaign

OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on standards. Falls are the leading cause of death for workers in residential construction.

OSHA defines a willful violation as “one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.”

Eight serious violations, carrying $12,000 in fines, allege:

  • Exposed and protruding rebar;
  • Lack of eye and face protection;
  • Using a welding cable that required repair;
  • Using a damaged extension cord;
  • Exposing workers to falling objects;
  • Not maintaining fire extinguishing equipment; and
  • Having unprotected holes in the floor that could cause workers to trip or fall.

Serious violations carry “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

RCP Services could not be reached Thursday (Nov. 8) for comment. According to OSHA, the company specializes in tunnel form construction. OSHA records list no other violations for the company for the past 10 years.

Focus on Falls

"Falls are the leading cause of death for workers in residential construction," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "Employers must take responsibility for ensuring that workers have and wear proper equipment at all times."

OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are working with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates to provide employers and workers—especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers—with education and training on common-sense fall prevention equipment and strategies that save lives.

RCP Services has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings.



Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Fall protection; Fatalities; OSHA; Personal protective equipment; Residential Construction; Residential contractors

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