Queens Contractor Failed to Provide Fall Protection Safeguards

A New York Contractor Failed to Provide Lifesaving Fall Protections

Queens, NY – A federal workplace safety investigation has found a construction contractor failed to provide and ensure the use of effective fall protection safeguards. OSHA  conducted the investigation following the death of a worker during the demolition of the Brooklyn building last year.

OSHA’s investigators also determined that the contractor failed to train its workers to recognize and avoid fall hazards. This has caused a worker who engaged in demolishing a building at 1045 Flatbush Ave. to fall 60 feet.

The Citations and Penalties

OSHA cited Richmond Construction Inc. for nine willful, repeat, and six serious violations of workplace safety standards. As a result, the agency is seeking penalties totaling $374K. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.

The Queens construction contractor failed to provide fall protection safeguards that would have prevented the worker’s death, according to the agency. In summary, OSHA determined that Richmond Construction failed to:

  • Provide employees with effective fall protection and fall protection training.
  • Have a competent person inspect the roof, lifeline systems, and fall arrest harnesses before the employees started work. A competent person has the knowledge to spot hazards and the authority to correct them.
  • Have a qualified person supervise the design, installation, and use of the horizontal lifeline.
  • Ensure the lifeline system was capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds.
  • Ensure employees did not connect their fall protection lanyards to anchor points below their harness rings.
  • Provide eye and ear protection to employees operating jackhammers.

“Richmond Construction Inc. ignored its legal responsibility to protect workers from falls and the result was the loss of a worker’s life. Complying with OSHA standards is not optional. It is required to ensure workers return home unharmed at the end of the day,” said OSHA Area Director Kay Gee in New York City. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

Fall Protection Training requirements are Osha’s Seventh Most Frequently Cited Standard

In conclusion, falls are the number one killer of construction workers. In addition, for the 11th consecutive fiscal year, OSHA’s fall protection  (29 CFR 1926.501) remains the agency’s most frequently cited standard. At the same time, the Fall Protection Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503) is the agency’s seventh most frequently cited standard in FY 2021. Thus, employers should have a competent person training and supervising the workplace, ensuring workers are aware of fall hazards.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection training. Learn more on VR curriculums developed by subject matter experts. The VR curriculums are able to raise awareness about the risks and preventive measures against fall accidents. Furthermore, it provides an effective and engaging way to practice and validate safety requirements without stopping production.

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