OSHA has cited Manchester, Conn.-based Rockville Construction LLC for 25 serious violations of workplace safety and health standards. The contractor, responsible for the Hockanum Mill renovations in Rockville, faces $107,100 in fines for inadequate safeguards against lead exposure, respirator deficiencies, falls and electrical hazards.
"The numerous hazards found at this work site exposed employees to potential long-term health hazards from lead contamination and to immediate safety hazards from falls and electrocution," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "These basic health and safety safeguards should have been implemented before the work started. Moving forward, these hazards need to be corrected effectively and expeditiously."
Lead exposure can cause long-term damage to the central nervous, urinary, blood and reproductive systems. The lead-related hazards found at the Hockanum Mill work site included employee exposure to high lead levels from scraping lead-containing paint; the employer's failure to provide effective controls to reduce lead exposure levels; failure to determine lead exposure levels or conduct biological monitoring; and failure to train employees about lead hazards and safeguards. The company did not determine if the hazardous substances cadmium and arsenic were at the work site.
In addition, the company had no written respiratory protection program, did not train its employees on the purpose, selection, fitting, use and limitations of respirators, and failed to conduct medical evaluations to determine workers' fitness to wear respirators.
The job site also lacked a hazard communication program to inform employees about the dangers present in their work area. Employees were exposed to falls from an unguarded work platform, to electric shock from ungrounded electrical outlets and mislabeled or misused electrical equipment.
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.
Rockville Construction has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.