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Fall Hazards Rack Up $92K in Fines

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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Two Pennsylvania contractors face almost $92,000 in proposed fines for allegedly exposing workers to falls at a hospital construction site in Lebanon, PA.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited general contractor Arthur Funk & Sons Inc., of Lebanon, and subcontractor Weaver Construction and Roofing Inc., of East Earl, for willful and serious violations at the site of a new cancer center for Good Samaritan Hospital.

fall protection
OSHA

Federal workplace safety authorities said the companies exposed workers to 13-foot falls in July.

The case is not the first for either company.

OSHA cited Arthur Funk & Sons for fall hazards at the same hospital project in May, the agency noted. The previous violations and those currently issued are under contest.

Weaver Construction and Roofing was cited three years ago for similar fall protection hazards, OSHA said.

‘Fully Aware’

“These companies are fully aware that fall protection is critical to saving lives, yet they continue to expose their employees to hazards that can lead to serious injury or death,” said Kevin Kilp, OSHA's area director in Harrisburg.

“Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved by planning ahead to get the job done safely, providing the right equipment, and training everyone to use the equipment safely.”

Falls are the leading source of OSHA citations and the leading cause of death in construction.

Hazards Observed

The latest case stems from an inspection conducted in July.

The OSHA compliance officer said he observed employees of both companies working without fall protection equipment and exposed to a 13-foot fall, prompting further investigation.

Sechler Family Cancer Center
Beers and Hoffman Ltd.

Designed by Beers and Hoffman Ltd., the $13 million center is set to open before the end of the year. The renderings were released in May 2013. Construction began in December 2014.

The workers had been installing a metal roof and flashing.

Willful, Serious Violations Alleged

OSHA issued willful citations, carrying over $40,000 in proposed fines each, to both employers for an unprotected fall hazard of 10 to 13 feet.

Additionally, Weaver was cited for two serious citations for scaffolding hazards, carrying $2,800 in proposed fines.

OSHA alleged forklifts were used to support scaffold platforms, while the entire platform was not attached to the fork and the forklift was moved horizontally while the platform was occupied.

About the Companies

Arthur Funk & Sons is a family-owned business dating back to 1892, according to the company’s website.

The company completes commercial, institutional, religious, healthcare and other projects throughout Pennsylvania.

citations

Falls are the leading source of OSHA citations and the leading cause of death in construction.

Weaver Construction and Roofing, founded in 1973, offers roofing, excavating, as well as construction management and design-build services throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, .according to its website.

Neither company immediately responded Tuesday (Oct. 20) to requests for comment.

About the Project

The Good Samaritan Hospital broke ground on the new integrated cancer care center, Sechler Family Cancer Center, in December 2014.

The one-story, 22,000-square-foot facility will house treatment services as well as physician offices, laboratories, a pharmacy and a spiritual center.

Designed by Beers and Hoffman Ltd., the center is set to open before the end of the year, according to the hospital website.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Fall protection; General contractors; Hazards; Health and safety; Health Care/Hospitals; Metal roof coatings; OSHA; Roofing contractors; Subcontractors

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