N.Y. Contractor Fined for Workplace Hazards

December 7, 2004

A Mt. Sinai, New York stucco contractor’s continued failure to protect workers against falls and other potentially fatal construction hazards at several Long Island jobsites has resulted in $119,000 in proposed fines from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA has cited Conti & Carlucci Construction Inc. for a total of seven alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection opened June 3 at a construction site located at 150 Main St. in Patchogue. Employees at the jobsite were reportedly found to be working on 12-foot high scaffolding without fall protection.

OSHA’s inspection found workers at the Patchogue jobsite exposed to fall hazards stemming from the company’s failure to fully plank scaffolding; the lack of guardrails along the scaffold’s open sides; employees climbing frames and cross bracing to access the scaffold because ladders or other safe means of access were missing; and the company’s failure to train workers to recognize and avoid such hazards. In addition, the company failed to provide workers with helmets to protect them against falling objects.

OSHA has cited Conti & Carlucci four times in the past two years for the same or similar hazards at jobsites in Valley Stream, Carle Place, Levittown and West Babylon. As a result, these latest citations have been classified as willful and $116,000 in fines proposed for them. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The company was also issued two serious citations and fined $3,000 for failing to use base plates and cross-braces to support the scaffolding. OSHA defines a serious violation as a condition where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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