U.S. Department of Labor finds Queens Contractor Failed to Provide Fall Protection and Training
Richmond Construction Inc. faces $374K in penalties after fatal worker fall.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Dec 07, 2021
After an investigation was conducted, it was found that a Queens contractor failed to provide and ensure the use of effective fall protection safeguards that would have been prevented the death of a worker who fell about 60 feet from a roof on May 27, 2021, during the demolition of Brooklyn building. OSHA found that Richmond Construction Inc. did not provide any safeguards related to fall protection. A worker was demolishing a building at 1045 Flatbush Ave.. The worker fell from the roof into the building’s interior. Investigators then determined that the company failed to train its workers to recognize and avoid fall hazards.
OSHA cited Richmond Construction for nine willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards and proposed penalties totaling $374,603. OSHA determined that Richmond Construction failed to:
- Provide employees with effective fall protection and fall protection training.
- Have a competent person inspect the roof, lifeline systems and fall arrest harnesses before the employees started work. A competent person has the knowledge to spot hazards and the authority to correct them.
- Have a qualified person supervise the design, installation and use of the horizontal lifeline.
- Ensure the lifeline system was capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds.
- Ensure employees did not connect their fall protection lanyards to anchor points below their harness rings.
- Provide eye and ear protection to employees operating jackhammers.
"Richmond Construction Inc. ignored its legal responsibility to protect workers from falls and the result was the loss of a worker's life," said OSHA Area Director Kay Gee in New York City. "Complying with OSHA standards is not optional. It is required to ensure workers return home unharmed at the end of the day."
Richmond Construction has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.
OSHA provides useful information on hazards and safeguards involving demolition, protecting roofing workers and fall protection in construction.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.