OSHA News Release: [12/04/2014]
Contact Name: Ted Fitzgerald or Andre Bowser
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075 or x2074
Email: Fitzgerald.Edmund@dol.gov or Bowser.Andre.J@dol.gov
Release Number: 14-2066-NEW
Workers faced potentially fatal falls, electrocution at Yonkers, New York, work site
Total of $115,230 in OSHA fines proposed for 4 contractors
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Workers constructing a precast concrete building at 33 Ashburton Ave. in Yonkers faced potentially deadly or disabling falls, electrocution and other hazards, which led the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to cite four New York contractors for safety and health violations.
Masonry subcontractor MPCC Corp., New Rochelle; heating, ventilation and air conditioning subcontractor Zodiac Industries Inc., Port Chester; and general contractor SNE-MPCC-Mengler J.V. LLC and subcontractor Mengler Plumbing, both of Brewster, face a total of $115,230 in proposed fines. The violations were found during an inspection of the project.
"Falls and electrocution are among the top four causes of injury and death for people in the construction industry," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown. "These hazards can be readily prevented when employers adhere to basic, common sense and legally required safeguards. Unfortunately, those safeguards were lacking at this job site, placing workers at risk."
OSHA found that MPCC Corp. employees on scaffolds lacked fall protection. The scaffolds were not fully planked or properly secured and lacked a safe means of access. Workers were not trained to recognize and avoid scaffolding hazards. These same employees risked impalement on unguarded rebar and electrocution from worn, ungrounded and misused power cords. MPCC Corp. also failed to provide personal protective equipment; suitable drenching facilities for employees exposed to corrosive liquids; and an adequate respiratory protection program. OSHA cited the company for three repeat and 17 serious violations for these hazards, with $91,630 in fines.
SNE-MPCC-Mengler was cited for eight serious violations, with $16,000 in fines. The company provided no fall protection and failed to train employees to recognize and avoid hazards, including an ungrounded electrical cord. The company had inadequate respiratory protection and did not ensure the work area was clear of debris.
Mengler Plumbing was cited for two serious electrical violations, with $4,000 in fines. Zodiac Industries was cited for two serious violations, with a $3,600 in fines, for lack of eye protection and not ensuring that electrical equipment was free from hazards.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited MPCC Corp. in February 2010 and February 2012 for similar violations at work sites in Old Westbury and Purchase.
Each employer 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency's Tarrytown Area Office at 914-524-7510.
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 http://www.osha.gov/.