The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited RNC Industries LLC, a construction contractor, for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following a March 29 decking collapse that injured a worker at a construction site located at 23 W. 116th St. in Manhattan. The Holtsville, N.Y., contractor faces a total of $58,410 in proposed penalties following an inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office.
RNC Industries' employees were constructing a deck on the second floor level when one of the employees stepped on a support beam that collapsed, causing him to fall 15 feet to the ground. OSHA's inspection found that the support system had not been properly erected, and the support beams were damaged and had not been inspected for defects. Additionally, the employees lacked fall protection, exposing them to falls of up to 15 feet. They had not been trained to recognize and minimize fall hazards.
OSHA issued the contractor one repeat citation, with a fine of $34,650, for the lack of fall protection. A similar hazard was cited in 2010 at a Bronx worksite. Four serious citations, with $23,760 in fines, were issued for the support system and training hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
RNC Industries LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.