OSHA Cites Two Employers in NYC scaffold collapse

OSHA has cited two New York City employers for alleged violations of federal workplace safety standards in connection with a Dec. 7, 2007, scaffold collapse at 265 E. 66th St. in Manhattan. Two window washers fell 47 stories when their scaffold platform detached from the permanent window washing rig attached to the building's roof.

Cited were City Wide Window Cleaning LLC, the Richmond Hill, N.Y., window cleaning service that employed the window cleaners and operated the scaffold; and Tractel Inc., the Long Island City, N.Y., company that serviced the scaffold prior to the accident. The citations address equipment failure, lack of fall protection, and lack of employee training.

OSHA's inspection found that the crimps used to secure the platform's hoist ropes were improperly installed by Tractel and, as a result, unable to support the scaffold's load. Neither Tractel nor City Wide had inspected the scaffold to determine if the crimps had been correctly installed and to see if the scaffold could support its load.

The two employees were not wearing safety harnesses and lifelines tied off to independent anchorage points and had not been trained in fall protection measures. They also had not been trained in the inspection and operation of the scaffold, emergency procedures, and hazards associated with their work.

"These men lacked the knowledge and ability to protect themselves against falls and other hazards," said Richard Mendelson, OSHA's area director in Manhattan. "Proper inspection and maintenance of the scaffold and its components could have prevented this accident, while effective employee training, and use of fall protection would have stopped any fall."

City Wide has been issued five serious citations for the lack of fall protection, training, and inspections, and for the lack of a vertical lifeline. The company faces $24,000 in proposed penalties. Tractel has been issued three serious citations, with $21,000 in proposed penalties, for improper installation of the crimps, the crimps' failure to support the scaffold's load, and not inspecting the crimps. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"We will be sharing our findings with the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York State Department of Labor, which regulates this type of window washing equipment, to help prevent such an accident from occurring again," Mendelson said.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

    November December 2020

    Featuring:

    • COLD STRESS
      Managing Cold Stress
    • TRAINING: FALL PROTECTION
      Providing Training for Fall Protection
    • PPE: HEARING PROTECTION
      Eight Tips for Hearing Testing Day
    • FACILITY SECURITY
      Incorporating COVID-19 Protections into Safety Programs
    View This Issue