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OSHA Cites Four NYC Companies for Workplace Safety Violations, Part I

A construction industry magazine recently reported on fines levied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) against four Manhattan contractors involved in the construction of a New York City hotel. The proposed fines total $272,720 and are based on OSHA inspections that occurred in March of this year at the 323 West 33rd Street worksite.

The Flintlock Construction Company of Mamaroneck, New York, received the largest fine proposal of $249,920. OSHA cited the company for seven violations of the fall protection and scaffolding standards that exposed workers to potentially fatal falls.

According to OSHA, the company failed to provide guard rails and personal fall arrest systems. Moreover, the company was charged with failing to provide a safe way to access the scaffolding, forcing workers to climb cross-bracing to reach work platforms. Additionally, the platforms themselves were not fully planked and the scaffolding was not secured so as to prevent tipping.

The company also received citations for hazards that included failing to provide training on erecting the scaffold and failing to have a professional assessment of the feasibility of providing fall protection to those installing and dismantling the scaffolding. Another penalty was imposed for failing to have a sufficiently wide walkway on the scaffolding and not anchoring the fall protection system correctly.

OSHA also issued three serious citations, with $16,720 in fines, to Flintlock for additional hazards. These include failing to provide training on the hazards associated with erecting scaffolds; failing to have a competent person determine the feasibility of providing fall protection for workers erecting and dismantling the scaffolding; a scaffold walkway that was too narrow; and inadequate anchorage for the fall protection system.

Because of the severity of Flintlock's violations, OSHA has placed the business in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. This program is designed to improve worker safety by targeting wilful violators and conducting spot inspections to ensure compliance with labor safety laws and regulations.

This is the first of a two part article on OSHA violations issued at a Manhattan hotel construction

Source: ForConstructionPros, "Four Contractors Cited For Safety Violations at NY Jobsite," Sep. 26, 2013.