November 6, 2010
After an investigation of a scaffolding collapse at a New York college that injured six workers, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited and fined two contractors for safety violations.
The scaffolding collapse occurred on June 2, 2010 at Binghamton University in Vestal, NY where the construction of new dormitories was underway by LeChase Construction. A scaffold platform bridge connecting two separate Hydro Mobile platform scaffolds gave way, falling forty feet to the ground below and injuring six construction workers.
YNN News reports that the scaffolding had been up one day and collapsed just hours after its first use.
The investigation of the scaffold collapse by OSHA determined that the safety chains designed to hold the scaffold platform bridge in place were no longer on the scaffold. However, they could not establish who removed the safety chains.
Roofing contractor Apple Roofing Co. of Syracuse was using the scaffold to perform roofing work. OSHA found that the company did not have a competent person, one with the knowledge and authority to identify and correct such a hazardous condition, inspect the scaffold before using it.
"If Apple Roofing had inspected the scaffold, it would have seen that the safety chains were not in place and would not have used the scaffold until the chains were re-installed," said Christopher Adams, OSHA’s area director in Syracuse said in a release.
Apple Roofing Co. received five serious citations and a proposed fine of $12,300 for their failure to inspect the scaffold and failure to train employees to recognize scaffolding and fall hazards.
OSHA issued CFI Sales and Service of Brackney, PA, who erected the scaffold, two serious citations and a proposed fine of $2,100 for a fall hazard and failure to train employees to recognize scaffold work hazards.
A serious citation means death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
"One means of eliminating hazards such as these is for employers to establish an illness and injury prevention program in which workers and management jointly work to identify and eliminate hazardous conditions on a continual basis," said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York.