OSHA Proposes $61,200 Fines Against Contractor After Fall

                               Andover, MA (CompNewsNetwork) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tri-State Sprinkler Corp. for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards after a worker fell ten feet at a Medford, Mass., worksite. The Derry, N.H.-based contractor faces a total of $61,200 in proposed fines.

OSHA began its inspection on Sept.29, 2009, after learning of an August accident in which an employee fell and was seriously injured while installing a sprinkler system above the ceiling of a building located at 215 Harvard St. OSHA's inspection found that no form of fall protection, required when employees work six feet or higher, had been provided.

"The need for fall protection was clear and recognized, yet this employer did not provide this basic, commonsense and legally required safeguard," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "This hazard was exacerbated by a lack of fall protection training, through which the worker could have recognized and prevented this hazard, and the employer's failure to ensure prompt and timely medical attention for the injured worker."

OSHA issued Tri-State Sprinkler one willful citation, with a $42,000 proposed fine, for the lack of fall protection and six serious citations, with $19,200 in fines, for the lack of training and prompt medical attention, not providing a ladder that extended three feet beyond the elevated work surface, not ensuring that the work surface could sustain the employee's weight, exposed live electrical wires and an unguarded pipe threading machine.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health while serious citations are issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. Detailed information on fall hazards and fall protection is available online at
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education.

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