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OSHA slaps Paramount with fines topping $100,000

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited local construction firm Paramount Builders Inc., for six serious, one willful and one repeat violation of workplace safety and health standards.


USDOL’s regional press office says OSHA began its inspection in May after a worker suffered a fatal fall at the construction site of Samoa Tuna Processors, where Paramount conducted work.


Additionally, total proposed fines stand at $107,910 and the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


 OSHA’s Honolulu Area Office director Galen Blanton said the fatal fall tragedy could have been prevented if workplace safety standards had been followed.


 “This incident reinforces the critical importance of focusing on fall protection in the workplace. Fall-related incidents are a leading cause of occupational injuries and death. Employers have a responsibility to uphold and model these safety standards,” he said in a news release.


OSHA cited the employer for one willful violation, including routinely neglecting to ensure workers were anchored or tied off to body harnesses and, in this case, when operating on elevated structures 18 to 35 feet in height. OSHA’s fall protection safety standards require that those working at heights greater than 6 feet be anchored and tied off.


According to OSHA, Paramount Builders was cited for failing to maintain material safety data sheets and failure to provide training and information on hazardous chemicals kept on-site, adding that this same violation was cited in 2009.


Additionally, the serious violations include the absence of a certified first-aid responder on-site, lack of fall protection training, use of inadequate ladders and improper use and maintenance of filtering face-piece respirators.


According to OSHA’s 18 citation notice, of the total proposed fines, the company got the highest fine of $69,300 for two “willful” violations; followed by $32,670 for one “serious” violation and $5,940 for three “repeat” violations.


Click on attachment to download citation.