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Employee complaints lead to fines for nine New York contractors

Nine area contractors face a total of $98,400 in fines for 56 alleged serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards at three Brooklyn, NY, construction projects. OSHA fined the employers following inspections that began in November in response to employee complaints of unsafe working conditions.

OSHA's acting Manhattan area director, Antonio Pietroluongo, said many of the same hazards were present at the three different jobsites — the Marcy Homes and Marcus Garvey Homes residential construction projects and the TPT Rehab project — which were overseen by the same general contractor.

Great American Construction Corp., Mt. Vernon, NY, the general contractor for the three projects, was fined $25,350 for lack of fall protection and fall protection training; unsecured floor hole covers; uncleared debris; ladder and stairway hazards; various electrical hazards; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; and failing to perform an engineering survey and to inspect the jobsite.

S&L Magic Construction Corp., Glendale, NY, was fined $33,600 for failing to train employees in unsafe conditions, fall and scaffold hazards and the proper use of ladders; no fall protection for employees working on a scaffold; unstable objects used to support scaffolding; improperly secured compressed gas cylinders; unsecured and unmarked floor hole covers; not wearing protective helmets; and electrical, ladder and stairway hazards.

Seven other contractors were fined a total of $39,450. Among the violations for which the companies were cited were electrical, scaffold, ladder and stairway hazards; lack of head and eye protection; unguarded wall openings and an unguarded grinder; and failure to conduct inspections and to train workers to recognize unsafe conditions.

Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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