NY Contractor Faces $89,000 in Fines for Fall Hazards

OSHA has proposed $89,000 in fines against Ajay Glass & Mirror Co. Inc., a Manchester, N.Y., contractor, for allegedly exposing employees to falls of up to 50 feet at a worksite in Buffalo, N.Y. The agency began its inspection after an OSHA official observed Ajay employees working without fall protection on the unprotected edge of the fifth floor level of the former Dulski Building. The inspection found employees working without the use of a personal fall arrest system or working with their safety lifelines tied off to an anchorage point that was inadequate to restrict falls to 6 feet or less.

"These employees were just one misstep or tumble away from a fatal or disabling plunge," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "While they're lucky they didn't fall, worker safety must not and can never be a matter of luck. Basic and effective fall protection safeguards must be in place and in use at all times."

As a result of the inspection, OSHA has issued the company one willful citation with a proposed fine of $63,000 for the lack of fall protection. In addition, the agency issued nine serious citations, with $26,000 in fines, for the inadequate anchorage, lack of fall protection training, and failure to have the anchorage points designed, installed, or overseen by a competent person; unsecured and unmarked coverings for floor holes on the fourth floor level; slack and unmarked perimeter cables; and not barricading the area beneath a scaffold. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the failure to abate notices to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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