Painting Contractor Fined $225,200 for Scaffold, Fall Hazards

Fifteen alleged willful, repeat, and serious violations were filed against the Ronkonkoma, N.Y., company.

A Ronkonkoma, N.Y., painting and stucco contractor faces a total of $225,200 in proposed fines from OSHA for failing to properly erect scaffolds and provide fall protection for its workers at two Kings Point, N.Y., jobsites.

Painting and Decorating Inc. was cited for a total of 15 alleged willful, repeat, and serious violations of workplace safety standards following OSHA inspections. Both inspections were opened when OSHA inspectors observed clearly recognized fall hazards while driving by the jobsites.

"These sizable fines reflect both the gravity of the cited hazards and this employer's prior history of similar violations," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island area director in Westbury. "Scaffolds must be properly erected and fall protection provided to employees when they work on scaffolds at heights of 10 feet or more, yet this employer has repeatedly neglected to implement these basic, commonsense and legally required safeguards."

Painting and Decorating Inc. was issued eight willful citations with $200,000 in fines for not fully planking scaffolds, providing an access ladder, ensuring scaffolds rested on base plates, and providing fall protection at both jobsites. Six serious citations with $5,200 in fines were issued for missing railings, toeboards, and bracing at both jobsites. The contractor was issued one repeat citation with a $20,000 fine for not training workers at one jobsite on scaffolding assembly and work.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. The repeat citations stem from OSHA having cited the employer in 2007 and 2008 for similar hazards at jobsites in Kings Point and Great Neck, N.Y.

"One means of preventing recurring hazards is for employers to establish an effective, comprehensive injury and illness prevention program in which their workers take a continuous and active role in evaluating, identifying and eliminating hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

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