Real Estate Development Company Fined for Lead Exposure, Fall Hazards

OSHA cites Ellicott Development Co. for 10 serious violations of workplace health and safety standards; facing $44,000 in proposed fines

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations for 10 serious violations of workplace health and safety standards to Ellicott Development Co. for exposing workers to lead and fall hazards at a Buffalo, N.Y., work site. The Buffalo-based real estate development and management company faces a total of $44,000 in fines following an inspection by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office begun in December 2012 in response to a complaint.

OSHA found that Ellicott's workers performing demolition work at 2017 Clinton St. were exposed to lead while tearing down and disposing of walls that contained lead paint. Ellicott did not conduct monitoring and sampling to determine the lead exposure levels and did not provide workers with training, respiratory protection, protective clothing, medical surveillance and information about lead hazards.

Lead in Construction Fact Sheet

"This employer failed to take the basic steps necessary to protect workers against a potentially significant health hazard," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "Exposure to lead can damage the blood-forming, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. Even short-term exposure can have consequences. Ellicott Development must ensure that the proper safeguards are in place, in use and effective at this and all its job sites where workers may be exposed to lead."

The inspection also found workers exposed to falls of 15 feet from the unguarded edge of the roof, from which they were throwing materials into a dumpster. They were also exposed to unguarded floor holes on the roof. An additional hazard stemmed from a scaffold whose casters were not locked to prevent movement.

Video: Falls in Construction - Floor Openings

Safety Video: Falls in Construction - Fixed Scaffolds

Safety Video: Falls in Contruction - Leading Edge Work

Ellicott Development Co. 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.