“Disregard of basic safety fundamentals,” is how OSHA chief David Michaels described a situation involving demolition of a building. As a result, a contractor now faces a hefty fine.
OSHA has fined Cesar Mendoza, dba KI Management LLC, $196,000 for two willful and 12 serious violations following an inspection at a demolition site in Bridgeport, CT. KI is based in Stamford, CT.
Inspectors found employees were exposed to potentially fatal crushing injuries due to KI’s failure to brace the building’s walls.
“The seriousness of this situation can be seen in the June 5, 2013, building collapse in Philadelphia that killed six people and injured 14,” Michaels said. “While no collapse occurred in Bridgeport, the hazard was real, present and entirely avoidable.”
A local OSHA official says removal of flooring left an unsupported shell that was vulnerable to collapse. Employees were exposed to falls of up to 36 feet from unguarded wall openings.
OSHA cited KI for two willful violations, with maximum allowable fines of $140,000 for the wall collapse and fall hazards.
KI also was cited for 12 serious violations ($56,000 in fines), including:
- having workers dry sweep and shovel lead-containing waste
- failing to supply workers with proper training, respiratory protection, protective clothing and equipment
- failing to mark exits
- improperly storing oxygen and fuel gas cylinders, and
- failing to correct electrical hazards.
KI has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest them. Companies that are issued OSHA fines can come to a settlement with the agency or appeal them to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.