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Masonry Contractor Faces Repeat Fines

Monday, January 16, 2017

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An Illinois masonry contractor with a history of health and safety citations now faces $77,606 in new fines for alleged violations of federal fall protection rules.

Polo Masonry Builders Inc., of Park Ridge, has been cited for two repeat and eight serious safety and health violations for work performed in September 2016 at a four-story building in Chicago, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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The masonry firm had faced similar violations in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015, OSHA said.

Inspectors said workers were performing masonry activities at heights of up to 40 feet without adequate fall protection.

"No employee should ever be working at heights over 6 feet without adequate fall protection," said Angeline Loftus, OSHA's area director at its Chicago North office in Des Plaines. "Workers can easily be protected from falls by the use of harnesses and other fall protection devices.

"Employers must remember that falls are the leading cause of death among construction industry workers."

Violations Alleged

The current citations in the case allege that the company exposed workers to:

  • Fall hazards through unprotected floor holes and wall openings, lack of stair rails and from scaffold platforms that were not supported by outriggers and bracing;
  • Impalement hazards from unprotected rebar;
  • Unguarded belt and pulley drive of a mortar mixer;  and
  • Chemical hazards by failing to provide hand and eye protection.

Polo Masonry Builders had been cited for similar violations in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, according to OSHA.

The company could not be reached Friday (Jan. 12) for comment and does not have a website.

Polo Masonry Builders has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Contractors; Ethics; Fall protection; Health and safety; Masonry; OSHA; Subcontractors

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