Removing the walls of a fourth floor elevator shaft without fall protection exposed workers at a Binghamton, NY site to a 40-foot fall, according to OSHA inspectors, who issued MJ Scoville Inc. nine willfull and serious violations.

That danger, as well as a 14-foot fall exposure from an unguarded scaffold weren't they only things employees of the demoliton contractor had to worry about. OSHA found that the Scoville also failed to conduct personal air monitoring to determine lead exposure levels for employees performing demolition work with materials known to be covered with lead paint, and did not implement interim protective measures including respiratory protection, biological monitoring, medical surveillance, clean change areas and employee training on lead hazards.

"These are two of the most common and well-known hazards workers can face during demolition operations and must be effectively addressed by the employer on each and every jobsite," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "Falls can injure or kill a worker in seconds while lead exposure can damage the kidneys and the central nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive and hematological systems."

The company was issued two willful citations with $42,000 in fines and seven serious citations with $10,500 in fines. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.