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Region 2 News Release: 10-717-NEW/BOS 2010-224
Tues., June 1, 2010
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
E-mail: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA proposes more than $125,000 in fines
against Brooklyn, NY, contractor after partial building collapse

NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited New York Plank Services LLC, a precast concrete installation contractor, for alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious violations of safety standards following a partial building collapse in Brooklyn. The contractor, also in Brooklyn, faces a total of $125,800 in proposed fines.

On Nov. 23, 2009, during the installation of pre-cast concrete stairs on the third floor of a six-story residential building under construction at 433 3rd Ave., a collapse of several planks and stairs occurred. OSHA's inspection found that the structural steel I-beam that supported the planks and stairs had not been bolted and welded as required to provide stability, and the employees who removed the damaged concrete planks from the stairwell were exposed to falls of 40 feet to the ground due to a lack of fall protection. As a result, OSHA has issued two willful citations, with $112,000 in proposed fines, against New York Plank Services. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

"While it is fortunate that no workers were injured in this incident, they were still exposed to crushing hazards during the event and to fall hazards afterward," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. "These sizable fines reflect the gravity of the hazards and the employer's knowledge that these vital and required safeguards were ignored."

In a