<!– [if !mso]> <! st1:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –> Fall hazards topped the list of most cited violations in New York in a two-week enhanced enforcement effort performed by OSHA this past summer. By randomly selecting construction sites throughout the city, OSHA was able to achieve a cross-section of high-risk construction activities that included high-rise construction, steel erection, tower cranes, poured-in-place concrete operations, and gut-rehab.

Major Categories of Violations

The enforcement effort lasted from June 23 to July 3 and involved 12 inspectors conducting 96 inspections at 46 construction sites throughout New York. This resulted in citations issued to 60 contractors for 129 violations. The proposed penalties totaled a whopping $247,400.

Here is a list of the major categories of violations that were most cited by OSHA New York City:

  1. Fall hazards = 39
  2. Electrical safety = 29
  3. Scaffolds = 17
  4. Cranes and rigging =13
  5. Welding/gas = 10

The rest of the categories of violations cited included PPE, tools, material handling, concrete, hoists, stairs and ladders. It’s important to note that about a third of the cited violations involved fall hazards.

“These violations are consistent with the types of hazards we find on far too many jobsites and cannot be written off as the inevitable by-products of an inherently dangerous profession,” said OSHA’s Manhattan director Richard Mendelson. “OSHA will use this information to further hone its inspection targeting, so we can direct our resources to those areas where we can have the most impact,” he said.

Raising the Bar…and Awareness

Shortly after conducting the inspections, OSHA New York City pushed for everyone involved in construction work to “raise the bar” on safety. It started with a construction stakeholder safety meeting with industry representatives. In the meeting, OSHA New York City presented the trends in construction safety violations.

OSHA New York City also plans to send copies of citations to project developers, owners, employers’ insurers, union training funds, and workers’ compensation carriers. It will also conduct a second round of concentrated construction inspections.

In the meantime, OSHA works with an ongoing cross-training alliance with the New York City Department of Buildings.

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