Often, state and federal agencies assess fines for safety violations after an injury has a occurred. But in Arizona, the state’s worker safety commission announced recently that it will fine three Tucson businesses for violations ranging from unsafe scaffolding to lack of dust control. None of the violations involved injuries.
At its Feb. 8 meeting, the state Industrial Commission levied a $5,250 fine against Chirco Granite Fabrication Inc. A scheduled inspection by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health found no written respiratory-protection program for employees required to wear filtering face-piece respirators, three instances of excessive dust, missing safety guards on certain pieces of equipment, and four instances of electric cords missing their ground – or third – prongs.
According to founder and president Sam Chirco, this was the company’s first inspection in 10 years of operation. "They were just small, little things that you don't even think of, really. After you get fined, you really start thinking about them. It makes you much more aware," Chirco said.
Also at its Feb. 8 meeting, the commission imposed a $5,000 fine against Action Demolition LLC, for violations found during a Dec. 8 inspection at a work site at El Con Mall. Ruben Granados, a partner in Action Demolition, said he was aware of the inspection but was unaware of the fine until receiving a notice from the Industrial Commission in the mail. Granados said the violation, which involved a lack of fall protection, will be disputed in court.
The commission also fined Mission Lath and Stucco LLC. $4,575 for several safety violations, mostly involving an unsecured scaffold. Among the violations cited: Employees were found standing on a 20- to 25-foot-tall scaffold that did not have secure planks or restraints to prevent it from tipping. Employees also had placed the scaffold on pieces of wood and masonry blocks stacked up to 25 inches off the ground, without braces. The employer also was cited for not training employees about the hazards and avoidance of unsafe conditions while working on a scaffold.