Construction Site Safety News - January 2016

A summary of citations and violations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for the month of January 2016 follows:

On December 28, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued two citations for willful safety violations Susquehanna Supply Company Inc., a company headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for failing to take appropriate safety measures to protect its workers. On July 7, 2015 37-year-old Richard “Ricky” Gold was buried alive when a trench he was working in collapsed. He was a graduate of Warrior Run High School and Lycoming College. He left behind a son and daughter.  

On January 7, 2016, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued one citation for willful and one citation for serious safety violations to SB Framing Services, of Naples Florida, for its failure to provide fall protection to its employees. On September 26, 2015, ST Framing’s 32-year-old employee, Selvin Velasquez, fell to his death. He left behind two sons, a three-year-old and 8 month old.  

On January 11, 2016 Mass Bay Electrical Corp. reached a settlement with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration by agreeing to take extensive corrective action to prevent future deaths and injuries to its employees and to establish a safety training fund.  Previously, Mass Bay Electrical Corp. received multiple citations for safety violations when Joseph Boyd and John Loughran, both 34-years-old, were killed when an aerial basket they were working in toppled over on April 12, 2014. Loughran was a 1998 graduate of Marshfield High School and a 2002 graduate of Bridgewater State College. Boyd graduated from BMC Durfee High School class of 1998 and left behind two sons.

On January 12, 2016, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued citations for serious and repeat safety violations to High Quality Builders Inc., a Bordentown, New Jersey subcontractor and TJ Ward Plumbing Heating & Commercial Services LLC of Media, Pennsylvania a general contractor, for failing to provide employees fall protection. On July 6, 2015 a 30-year-old construction worker fell while installing gutters and he is now paralyzed from the waist down.

On January 14, 2016, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration Custom Contracting Inc., issued six citations for safety violations to Custom Contracting Inc., a Lincoln, Nebraska Company, for failing to provide its workers with fall protection. On October 24, 2015 39-year-old Jason “Jake” Oenbring fell to his death. He left behind three daughters.

 

Public hearing on proposed rule to amend existing limits to exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is holding a public hearing on February 29, 2016 in Washington D.C. on its proposed rule to amend existing limits to exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds.

Beryllium is used in the manufacturing of electronics, ceramics, research and development labs, aircraft, and the atomic energy and defense industry.

Chronic berylliosis is a pulmonary and systemic granulomatous disease caused by exposure to beryllium. Cases of chronic berylliosis were first described in 1946 among workers in plants manufacturing fluorescent lamps in Salem, Massachusetts. Chronic berylliosis resembles sarcoidosis in many respects. Lung cancer is a possible result of prolonged exposure to beryllium laden dust.

Under current Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations, the eight-hour permissible exposure limit for beryllium is 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Above that level, employers must take steps to reduce the airborne concentration of beryllium. OSHA's proposed standard would reduce the eight-hour permissible exposure limit to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter and require additional protections for workers, including personal protective equipment, medical exams, and training.

Click here for more information about the proposed regulations and the upcoming public hearing. 

Construction Site Safety News - December 2015

A summary of citations and violations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for the month of December 2015 follows:

On December 2, 2015 the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued one citation for willful and three citations for serious safety violations to Merit Construction Services Inc., a concrete company after an employee fell 9 feet through a hole, landing on a concrete floor.

On December 3, 2015, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued one willful, one repeat and one serious citation for safety violations to Anrich Inc., of Wayne, Pennsylvania, a company engaged in water and sewer pipeline construction. On the day of the OSHA inspection, employees were working in an unprotected excavation trench that was 14 feet long, 10 feet wide and 7 feet deep.

On December 8, 2014 the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued three serious, two repeated and one other citation to Longhorn Contractors, a San Antonio Texas, for safety violations after an employee fell 35 feet to his death. Longhorn Contractors failed to provide fall protection to its employees. It has a long history of failing to address safety hazards, having been cited seven previous times dating back to 2008. Gabriel Palacios left behind two sons and a daughter.

On November 30, 2015 the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued 40 serious safety violations to LC United Painting of Sterling Heights, Michigan when an employee fell inside a tower platform while prepping the area for painting. There was no fall protection provided on the jobsite.

On December 9, 2015 the owner of James J. McCullagh Roofing, Inc. plead guilty to one count of willfully violating an Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulation by failing to provide fall protection to employees who were doing roofing work at the Old Zion Lutheran Church on North Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark Smith, a 52-year-old father of four, fell to his death in an accident on the jobsite on June 21, 2013.  

Carpet Installer Settles Case for $737,500 at Mediation

On September 9, 2011, the plaintiff, a resident of Newark New Jersey, was injured when the cargo can he was riding in was involved in a roll-over accident. Evidence uncovered during discovery revealed that the defendant, a carpet and tile manufacturing warehouse, hired subcontractors to do carpet and tile installation work for consumers purchasing flooring at the defendant's Hackensack, New Jersey, sales facility. 

Since the carpet manufacturer (a) placed out the materials that were to be utilized during job installations and dictated the size of the jobs and the materials that had to be transported (b) assigned the work to subcontractors working at the facility and (c) contractually required subcontractor installers to follow all appropriate safety laws and regulations, we filed suit taking the position that the carpet manufacturer had an obligation under OSHA to stop subcontractor installers from making workers ride in the back of cargo van without seats and seatbelts, an activity that was patently unsafe and a violation of New Jersey traffic laws.

In addition to three medical experts, we hired an engineer who was an OSHA safety expert and a biomechanical engineer who evaluated the harm caused to the plaintiff because of van's lack of back seats and seatbelts. After three years of litigation, we were able to successfully resolve the case on October 14, 2014 at mediation on behalf of our client, a 26 year old father of two. 

Ironworker Settles Case for $400,000 Plus Negation of $100,000 Workers Compensation Lien After Closing Arguments During Trial in Morris County, New Jersey.

The Plaintiff, who injured his spine when he slipped and fell on ice that accumulated on a concrete slab he was working on, decided to settle his case for a total value of $500,000 after closing arguments were made to the jury. The trial lasted a little more than a week in Morris County, New Jersey. 

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