The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Western Waterproofing Co. Inc. — doing business as Western Specialty Contractors — for exposing employees to serious injuries at a New York City construction worksite. The St. Louis, Missouri-based contractor faces $155,204 in proposed penalties.
An unsecured mini-crane overturned and fell four stories at an East 125th Street worksite on June 25, 2018. OSHA cited Western for not ensuring that the employee assigned to operate the crane was trained, evaluated and determined competent to operate the equipment; for operating the crane in excess of its rated lifting capacity; and for not verifying that the load being lifted was within the crane’s rated lifting capacity.
“This employer knowingly put workers at risk by failing to ensure that the crane was operated by a competent person,” said Kay Gee, OSHA’s Manhattan Area Office Director. “Effective training of employees, knowledge of equipment’s limits, and correct operation of equipment are critical to preventing injuries.”
Separately, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has announced a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Western and the indictment of the company’s project manager and superintendent on criminal charges in connection with the incident.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.