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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OSHA Seeking Six-figure Penalties for Fall Hazards

Fort Worth, Texas The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited two contractors for fall hazards and is seeking six-figure penalties. On Sept. 17, OSHA cited RM Masonry and Stucco Inc. of Fort Worth for exposing workers to fall and silica hazards, a total of nine repeated and six serious violations. The offenses included failing to ensure scaffolding was planked correctly and secured, providing a ladder for safe egress, and inspecting scaffolding. Later, on Sept. 20, the agency cited Neal Weaver, an Ohio-based contractor, with severe eye and fall protection violations. The company has exposed its workers to deadly fall hazards for the sixth time in five years. OSHA is seeking fines totaling $216,265 and $253,556, respectively.

“Fall hazards make roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction,” Cleveland Area Director Howard Eberts said in a recent statement. “Employers must ensure that employees working from heights greater than 6 feet are provided with fall protection equipment and are well trained. Too often, OSHA inspectors find employees working on residential roofs without fall protection,” Eberts continued. OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard (29 CFR §1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited standard, a total of 5,424 times in the fiscal year (FY) 2020. At the same time, the scaffolding standard (§1926.451) is the fourth most commonly cited standard with a total of 2,538 violations in FY 2020.

OSHA-cited-a-contractor-for-six-figure-penalties

Fall Protection is OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standard for the 11th Consecutive Year

In fact, for the 11th consecutive fiscal year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented this preliminary data from FY 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30) on Oct. 12 during the 2021 NSC Safety Congress & Expo. Although several standards swapped positions, the criteria that make up the Top 10 Violations remained unchanged from FY 2020. The complete list is as below:-

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 5,295 violations
  2. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,527
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,026
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 1,948
  5. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 1,947
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 1,698
  7. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,666
  8. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,452
  9. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 1,420
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,113

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection training.

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