The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited general contractor Ganaway Contracting Co. Inc. of Alpharetta for 14 safety violations with $55,440 in proposed fines following an inspection at a restaurant construction site in Tifton.
OSHA conducted its inspection as part of a local emphasis program on protecting workers from falls in the construction industry.
Four repeat violations with $29,040 in fines involve exposing workers to fall hazards by allowing them to work at heights of about 12–15 feet without requiring the use of fall protection, using ladders that did not extend at least 36 inches past the upper landing surface of a roof, and using an extension ladder with cracks and broken/missing parts.
The company also failed to require the use of eye protection for workers using tools such as pneumatic nail guns, electric drills and circular saws. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in 2010 at locations in Anniston and Trussville, Ala., and Oakwood, Ga.
Seven serious violations with $24,420 in fines involve exposing workers to fall hazards by allowing them to work on a wooden platform supported by a forklift, even though the forklift manufacturer's manual warns against using its forklifts for this purpose; failing to require workers to attach a lanyard from a body belt to a personal fall protection system in order to prevent falls; and failing to require workers to use head protection while exposed to falling building materials and tools. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Three other-than-serious violations with $1,980 in fines involve failing to produce OSHA-mandated injury and illness logs for 2008, 2009 and 2010. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
"As the controlling contractor at this work site, Ganaway should have acted to prevent workers from being exposed to these hazards. OSHA will not tolerate violations that threaten workers' safety," said Robert Vazzi, director of OSHA's Savannah Area Office.
Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html
Ganaway has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Savannah office at 912-652-4393.