The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Woodland Interiors Inc. for exposing workers to fall hazards while installing insulation to exterior walls of a newly constructed ALDI grocery store located on Wendy Bagwell Parkway in Hiram. The grocery store opened in March.
According to a news release Monday, OSHA initiated the inspection in December as part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program and Local Emphasis Program on falls in construction. Proposed penalties total $43,400.
One willful citation, with a $38,500 penalty, was issued for allowing employees to work from an aerial lift about 18 feet from the ground without fall protection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
A serious violation, with a $4,900 penalty, was also cited for failing to provide fall protection for employees working from the roof of the building while installing siding at heights up to 15 feet. A serious violation occurs 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.
“Falls are a leading cause of workplace fatalities, and employers need to ensure workers are protected,” Andre Richards, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Office, said in the news release. “It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers have and wear the proper equipment at all times.”
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a new campaign to provide employers and workers with life-saving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and another 255 workers were killed. OSHA’s fall-prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. More detailed information is available in English and Spanish on fall-protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
Woodland Interiors Inc., a siding contractor with its home office in Rydal, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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