Contractor Zapped with $60,800 in Fines for Electrocution, Fall Hazards

OSHA opened its inspection of A.C. Castle Construction upon observing employees working without fall protection on the building's roof and on a ladder jack scaffold, exposing them to falls of nearly 19 feet.

OSHA has cited A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. of Danvers, Mass., for allegedly exposing employees to fall and electrocution hazards at a residential worksite. The roofing contractor faces a total of $60,800 in proposed fines for 21 repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards.

"These citations address basic construction safety hazards that should not have existed in the first place. They should be of vital concern to all employers whose workers labor at heights and near power lines," said Jeffrey A. Erskine, OSHA's area director for Essex and Middlesex counties. "Employers should take the time to perform a spring tuneup, including reviewing their safety programs, equipment, employee training, and applicable OSHA regulations to ensure that their workers are effectively protected against falls and other hazards."

OSHA opened its inspection of A.C. Castle Construction upon observing employees working without fall protection on the building's roof and on a ladder jack scaffold, exposing them to falls of nearly 19 feet. Additional fall hazards stemmed from employees using or working on damaged, unsecured, misused, or inadequate ladders.

Electrocution and electric shock hazards stemmed from employees working within 3 feet of an energized power line, using ladders that lacked nonconductive siderails, and from ungrounded or frayed power cords. Employees also lacked head, eye, and foot protection, and the worksite was not inspected by a competent person who would have identified and corrected such hazardous conditions.

As a result of its inspection, OSHA issued A.C. Castle Construction three repeat citations with $15,200 in fines for the rooftop and unsecured ladder fall hazards, and the lack of head protection. Eighteen serious citations with $45,600 in fines were issued for the remaining hazards. The repeat citations were based on OSHA having cited the employer in December 2009 for similar hazards at a Hamilton worksite.

Information on hazards and safeguards associated with construction work and scaffold use is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.

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