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Region 2 News Release
09-1429-NEW/BOS 2009-401
Thurs., Nov. 19, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Peekskill, NY, contractor for fall hazard at Peekskill Middle School construction site

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Kane Contracting Inc. for an alleged willful violation of safety standards during renovation work at the Peekskill Middle School located at 212 Ringold St. The contractor faces $42,000 in penalties following an inspection opened June 29 in response to a complaint.

OSHA found workers exposed to falls of up to 18 feet while using a scaffold to install sheetrock on the ceiling of the school's auditorium. The scaffold lacked guardrails, and fall protection equipment was neither supplied nor used. OSHA requires an effective form of fall protection be in place and in use whenever employees are working on scaffolds 10 feet or higher above the next level.

"Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and this employer well knows the requirement that workers be protected against this constant hazard," said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director in Tarrytown.

As a result, OSHA has issued Kane Construction one willful citation with the $42,000 fine, for the fall hazard. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard of employee safety and health.

"There is ample compliance assistance information available from this office and online that Westchester County employers can use to comply with OSHA standards and safeguard their workers," said Cortez. "Obtaining and effectively utilizing this information can also help employers avoid the human and financial costs that can result from workplace hazards."

"An additional means of helping ensure worker safety