The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced citations against European Craft Construction and its owner, Ioan Tampa, for workplace safety violations following a November 2004 inspection at a Chillicothe, Ohio, jobsite. Proposed penalties total $242,500.
The most recent inspection reportedly marks the 16th time since June 1999 that Tampa’s worksites have drawn OSHA scrutiny. Outstanding proposed penalties, some being contested, and final determinations or settlements total over $600,000. The penalties resulted from cases in Indiana, Ohio, and Georgia.
“Strong enforcement is a key part of OSHA’s efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses,” said OSHA Area Director Richard Gilgrist, Cincinnati. “The significant penalty of $242,500 in this case demonstrates our commitment to protect the health and safety of America’s workers.”
An OSHA compliance officer observed unsafe conditions at a work site in Chillicothe where employees were seen working from platforms without fall protection. OSHA opened a formal inspection based on a local emphasis program to promote protection from falls. OSHA alleged five serious, five willful and one repeat violations of workplace safety standards. Willful violations were issued for unsafe scaffolding and lack of fall protection from falls of up to 25 feet. Alleged serious violations involved electrical hazards, and the repeat citation was issued for failing to provide personal protective equipment and lack of toe boards or overhead protection on the scaffolds.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. A serious citation is issued 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. Repeat violations are those in which similar violations have been cited in the past and the citations have become a final order.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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