December 6, 2016
EVANSTON, Ill. – A Burbank contractor failed to provide employees remodeling a home in Evanston with adequate protection from falls and the personal protective equipment and training needed to work safely with silica and portland cement.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found JW Construction & Plastering, Inc. exposed workers to fall hazards of up to 25 feet, and allowed them to apply stucco without adequate personal protective equipment. OSHA issued two willful, two repeated and three serious safety violations after inspectors observed workers at the site on Aug. 25, 2016. The company faces $80,741 in proposed penalties.
“Preventable falls account for nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction industry, and silica presents a health hazard that can cause irreversible lung damage that can lead to long-term health concerns,” said Angeline Loftus, OSHA’s area director at its Chicago North office in Des Plaines. “OSHA is committed to protecting construction workers from unnecessary illness, injuries or worse.”
Inspectors found the company failed to ensure scaffold platforms were fully planked, that safe access to the scaffold platforms existed and that the scaffold was secured to prevent tipping.
The company was cited for similar violations in 2014.
View current citations here.
Federal safety and health officials are determined to reduce preventable, fall-related deaths – the leading cause among construction industry workers. OSHA offers a Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page provides fact sheets, posters and videos that illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level and 10 feet or more on scaffolding.
The ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. Begun in 2012, the campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use gear properly.
JW Construction & Plastering, Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines at 847-803-4800.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.