Contractor Cited for Fall and Wall Collapse Hazards

OSHA issued $196,000 in proposed fines to a Connecticut contractor for allegedly exposing workers to hazards similar to those in a Philadelphia building collapse in June 2013.

OSHA has issued $196,000 in proposed fines to a Stamford, Conn. contractor—Cesar Mendoza, d.b.a. KI Management—for allegedly exposing workers to fall hazards at construction sites, OSHA reports. The fines were prompted by a November 2013 inspection at a Bridgeport work site that found workers who were demolishing and rehabbing a building were exposed to potentially fatal crushing injuries" and other hazards because the employer failed to brace the building's walls and follow the required safeguards.

The company has been cited by OSHA for two willful violations ($140,000 in proposed fines) for wall and collapse hazards. When employees were removing flooring from the second and third floors, it left an empty, unsupported shell that was vulnerable to collapse. OSHA also issued 12 serious violations ($56,000 in proposed fines) for the company's alleged failure to supply workers with proper training, failure to provide respiratory protection, and having workers dry sweep and shovel lead-containing waste materials and debris.

"This employer's disregard of basic demolition safety fundamentals is unacceptable. The seriousness of this hazard can be seen in the June 5, 2013, building collapse in Philadelphia that killed six people and injured 14," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, in OSHA's press release. "While no collapse occurred in Bridgeport, the hazard was real, present and entirely avoidable."

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