Stucco Contractor Plastered with Fines for Repeat Fall Hazards

The company received citations for failing to maintain a safety program, fully plank scaffold platforms, provide a ladder for safe scaffold access, remove and replace damaged scaffold components, and properly brace scaffolds with cross braces.

OSHA has cited Exterior Stucco Systems Inc. of Wayne, N.J., with five repeat safety violations involving fall hazards at a Staten Island, N.Y., worksite. Proposed penalties total $61,600.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the site on Sept. 1 as part of a local emphasis program focused on fall hazards in construction. As a result, the company received citations for failing to maintain a safety program, fully plank scaffold platforms, provide a ladder for safe scaffold access, remove and replace damaged scaffold components, and properly brace scaffolds with cross braces.

A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Due to the number of repeat violations cited, the company has been added to the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Initiated in June 2010, SVEP is intended to focus OSHA enforcement resources on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law by committing willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe; industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards; employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals; and all egregious enforcement actions. For more information on SVEP, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/svep-directive.pdf*.

"Exterior Stucco Systems' refusal to implement the proper fall protections leaves workers at risk of an accident and possible death," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's area office in Avenel, N.J. "The company needs to take immediate steps to eliminate these hazards."

Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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