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$75k for not using fall protection
May 09, 2011
Chicago, IL

A Chicago area steel erector has been fined $75,000 for failing to use lanyards and fall protection in a boom lift.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Quinco Steel Inc. of Chicago Heights for four repeat safety violations after employees were observed working at heights without fall protection during a January job site inspection in Chicago.

The steel erection contractor faces penalties totalling $75,460 for a number of repeat violations including failing to attach a lanyard to an aerial lift, failing to provide fall protection for workers climbing over the rails of an aerial lift, allowing a worker to perform detailing operations during steel erection at heights of 27ft/8.1 metres and allowing another unprotected employee to perform work at a height of 37ft/11.2 metres.

A repeat violation means that the employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility within the last five years.

Quinco Steel sites have been inspected by OSHA 14 times since 1999. The agency previously issued citations for 13 serious, repeat and wilful violations related to aerial lift usage and steel erection. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers are engaged in steel erection activity more than five metres (15ft) above the next lower level.

Gary Anderson, OSHA’s area director in Calumet City said: “It is inexcusable to continually fail to protect workers from falls at heights greater than 15 feet, as required by OSHA’s standard for steel erection activities. Employers, especially those in hazardous industries, must be responsible for knowing what hazards exist on their job sites and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death.”