Connecticut Contractor Faces $140,000 in Fines for Electrocution, Fall Hazards

OSHA has cited a New Britain, Conn., contractor for 15 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following agency inspections at worksites in Danielson and Newington, Conn. BMA General Contractors LLC faces a total of $140,000 in fines for failing to protect employees against potentially fatal falls and electrocution hazards. OSHA found employees at both locations exposed to falls of 19 to 29 feet while working on scaffolds and atop roofs without fall protection equipment or training. At the Danielson location, employees faced additional fall hazards from using ladders that did not extend at least three feet above the scaffold platform.

The agency cited BMA in 2006 and 2007 for similar hazards at worksites in Glastonbury and Norwich, Conn. As a result, the agency issued BMA seven repeat citations, carrying $100,000 in proposed penalties, for the conditions found at the Danielson and Newington worksites.

"Falls are the most frequent cause of death in construction, and there is no justification for an employer's repeated failure to ensure that employees have the knowledge, training and equipment to identify and protect themselves against this most dangerous of hazards," said C. William Freeman III, director of OSHA's Hartford Area Office, which conducted the inspections.

According to OSHA, employees at both sites also had not been adequately trained in recognizing fall hazards and in the erection and dismantling of scaffolds, while employees at the Danielson site were exposed to electrocution hazards due to the draping of an energized 240-volt power line atop and along the conductive aluminum frame scaffold on which they were working. These conditions resulted in the issuance of eight serious citations with $40,000 in proposed fines.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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