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Hotel builder exposed workers to 53' falls (4/25)

April 25, 2011
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OSHA has cited Champion Builders LLC of Bristol, Connecticut for alleged willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection of a hotel construction site in Madison. The Bristol steel erection contractor faces a total of $143,000 in proposed fines, chiefly for fall hazards.

OSHA found employees exposed to falls of up to 53 feet while working without protection on the building's roof, and to falls of 7 to 25 feet from unprotected or inadequately protected wall and window openings. Other fall hazards stemmed from an unguarded floor hole, missing or inadequate stair railings, and a lack of training for workers to recognize and address fall hazards. In addition, the operator of a powered industrial truck used to move steel around the job site was not trained in its safe operation, exposing employees to being struck or crushed by the vehicle.

"The sizable fines proposed here reflect not only the gravity of these conditions but the employer's knowledge of them and history of similar violations," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "The citations address the employer's failure to comply with basic construction safety requirements. These conditions must be effectively addressed so they do not occur again."

As a result of its inspection, OSHA issued Champion Builders two willful citations with $110,000 in proposed fines for the rooftop and powered industrial truck hazards; three serious citations with $19,000 in fines for hazards relating to the floor hole, stair rail and lack of training; and one repeat citation with a $14,000 fine for the unguarded window and wall openings. The repeat citation stems from OSHA having cited the company in June 2007 for a similar hazard in East Hartford.

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