DORAL, Fla. -- If you're a construction company owner and routinely choose to ignore worker safety, you may want to think twice about putting your employees in danger of falls and other serious safety risks.
Nine contractors at the newly constructed Oasis Park Square residential development in Doral learned a hard lesson when U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors visited the work site in November 2014.
OSHA inspections found repeated and serious safety violations. The agency cited contractors Shoma Alliance Management Corp., the project manager; Garmon Construction Corp.; Zavala & Associates Inc.; Blue Panther Roofing & Construction Corp.; PP All Corp.; Unity Windows Inc.; Fast Carpentry 1 Inc.; and New World Masonry Inc. OSHA also conducted two separate inspections of L.C. Service Drywall Inc. Seven of the employers are Miami-based; Garmon Construction is based in Coral Gables, and Fast Carpentry is located in Homestead.
'Shoma Alliance Management Corp. and its contractors exposed their employees to numerous safety hazards or permitted multiple risks, including falls that could have resulted in death or serious injury' said Condell Eastmond, director of OSHA's Fort Lauderdale Area Office. 'Developers and general contractors are responsible for the safety of employees at their work sites. OSHA will continue to hold them accountable for the employees' safety.'
Shoma is the residential construction developer of the luxury housing complex. The company was issued three serious citations for exposing workers to fall hazards; improperly using a ladder and not providing ladder safety training.
OSHA inspectors issued numerous citations for a variety of violations. They are, as follows:
- Garmon, Zavala, Blue Panther, PP All, Unity Windows, New World and L.C. Service Drywall were each cited for one serious violation for not protecting workers from falling from heights up to 35 feet.
- PP All, Fast Carpentry and New World were each issued one serious violation for poor housekeeping of the work site.
- Garmon Construction received two additional serious violations for not maintaining an accident prevention program and for poor housekeeping of the work site by not cleaning up wood and debris.
- Fast Carpentry was issued a repeated citation for not providing fall protection.
- Unity Windows also received a serious violation for improper ladder use.
- Zavala Associates, specializing in carpentry, sheathing and formwork, was also issued four additional serious citations for allowing employees to work without head protection and eye protection, not providing fall protection training and failing to cover exposed rebar ends.
- PP All, a carpentry contractor, was cited for three serious violations for not providing fall protection training, failing to cover rebar ends and not ensuring workers wore eye protection. It was also cited for one additional serious violation for failing to install a handrail on a stairway.
- New World, a masonry contractor, was cited for one serious violation for not installing a handrail. It was cited for one additional other-than-serious violation for not developing a hazard communication program when employees were working with products that contained silica dust.
- L.C. Drywall was cited for one serious violation for not installing a handrail. It was also issued four additional citations for allowing workers to access a landing that was not protected with a guardrail system; not ensuring the scaffolding system was fully planked; exposing employees to a 23-foot fall from an aerial lift; and permitting employees to work from a scaffold without fall protection.
Proposed penalties for the nine companies total $152,200. View current citations at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/OasisParkSquareHousingDevelopment.pdf*
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA has inspected four of the nine companies previously. Garmon, specializing in shell construction, was last inspected in 2004 and was issued two serious citations for fall protection and training. PP All was inspected in 2014 and was cited for scaffolding, fall protection and lack of training. Unity Windows, installer of impact windows and doors, was issued three citations in 2007 related to hazard communications, power tools and electrical hazards. Fast Carpentry had two previous inspections, in 2013 and 2011, and was cited for four violations related to fall protection, training and ladders.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report 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 Fort Lauderdale Area Office at 954-424-0242.
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.