A Rochester roofing contractor faces $70,000 in fines from the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for fall hazards at a worksite on the SUNY College at Geneseo campus.
A.M. Stern Inc. was cited for five alleged repeat violations of safety standards following an OSHA inspection on June 24 when an inspector observed employees working without fall protection while performing roofing work atop Ontario Hall.
â€œThese employees were exposed to falls of up to four stories,â€ said Arthur Dube, OSHAâ€™s area director in Buffalo. â€œOne slip, one misstep, one instance of losing balance could have ended their lives. Whatâ€™s more disturbingâ€”and the reason weâ€™re proposing these substantial finesâ€”is that this employer previously had been cited for fall hazards at other job sites.â€
Four of the citations address fall hazards found at the Ontario Hall worksite:
The fifth citation concerned an employee working without head protection.
OSHA issues repeat citations when an employer previously has been cited for similar hazards and those citations have become final. In this case, OSHA had cited A.M. Stern in June and September 2006 for similar fall hazards at worksites in West Henrietta and Rochester, respectively, and in April 2007 for lack of head protection at an Avon worksite.
â€œI want to put employers on notice that if our inspectors pass by a job site and observe fall hazards, they will stop and open an inspection on the spot, as happened here,â€ Dube said. â€œFall protection can never be left to chance. Proper and effective safeguards must be in place and in use every single day on every single job.â€
A.M. Stern Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and fines to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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