Stucco Contractor Cited for Fall Hazards in 2007, 2008, and now 2009

OSHA has proposed $118,650 in fines against 4 Brothers Stucco Co., a Cleveland, Tenn.-based stucco contractor, for 15 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards, making this the third consecutive year the agency has cited the Cleveland, Tenn.-based stucco contractor. OSHA's inspection found employees working on scaffolding, in an aerial lift, and on the roof at a worksite in Torrington, Conn., were exposed to falls of up to 22 feet. The inspection also identified electrical, overhead, and chemical hazard communication deficiencies at the worksite.

"These sizable fines reflect both the seriousness and recurring nature of several of the conditions cited here," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford, Conn. "Keep in mind that falls are the number one killer in construction work and can occur in an instant. Be it a scaffold, an aerial lift, or a roof, proper and effective fall protection must be in place and in use at all times."

Specifically, 4 Brothers, which also operates as VP Stucco Co. Inc., was issued six repeat citations, with $84,000 in proposed penalties, for no fall protection for employees in an aerial lift; lack of guardrails on the scaffold; employees climbing the scaffold's side and cross braces; employees not trained to recognize scaffold hazards; no protective helmets; and failing to have the scaffold erected and dismantled under the supervision of a competent person. OSHA cited the company in 2007 and 2008 for similar hazards at worksites in Concord, N.H., and Plainville, Conn.

The Torrington inspection also resulted in nine serious citations, with $34,650 in proposed penalties, for employees working on a roof without fall protection; an improperly supported scaffold; unguarded walkways between scaffolds; using an ungrounded extension cord to power a mixing drill; and lack of a hazard communication program, training, material safety data sheets, and protective gloves for employees working with cement and hazardous chemicals. 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 company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalty before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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