NYC Sign Company Fined For Exposing Workers To Fall Hazards In Manhattan

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a New York sign company over $40,000 for failing to deploy proper fall protection for workers who were repairing a Union Square sign. North Shore Neon Sign Co. was cited by an OSHA inspector who observed employees not wearing safety restraints or head protection while working on scaffolds that lacked guardrails.

The site also had inadequate ladders available for the job, and the inspection resulted in six citations, including serious violations and three repeat violations. Serious violations are only found when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from the hazard. OSHA fines can be issued whether the employer knew about the dangerous worksite condition or should have known.

Mitchell Sassower and Carl Lustig of the law firm of Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., (who were not involved in the proceedings involving North Shore Neon Sign Co.) point out that violations involving fall hazards are especially significant because the risk of severe injury is much greater. Where a worker falls from a height, there is a significant risk of serious injury or death.

Lustig and Sassower, who have represented many workers who were injured in construction accidents, explain that such fines are meant to deter such violations. However, where a worker is severely injured or killed, fines paid to a regulatory agency offer little solace.