HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) today announced that it issued seven citations to Titanium Services, Inc. The citations resulted from an investigation initiated on Jan. 16, 2014, when an employee fell approximately 30 feet through a skylight and sustained fatal injuries. Titanium Services, Inc. will have an opportunity to contest the citations.
“Titanium Services, Inc. sacrificed worker safety when it chose not to provide fall protection for its employees,” said DLIR Director Dwight Takamine. “Fall protection is not complicated, the materials are readily available, and the methods have been well established for decades. This tragic death of a young man could and should have been prevented.”
The current safety violations were related to work on a flat roof 30 feet above the ground on Jan. 16, 2014. The employer was cited for failing to provide adequate fall protection, electrical violations, and for failing to conduct job site inspections on Aug. 12, 2013.
HIOSH personnel discussed fall protection in depth with the employer during an informal conference with the employer on Oct. 25, 2013. Nonetheless, the employer did not adequately protect the employees from falls while they were working at elevated locations, including on Jan. 16, 2014 when this incident occurred.
Contrary to the HIOSH standards, Titanium Services, Inc. did not provide guardrails or covers for skylights. The warning line erected was not always 6 feet away from the edge of the roof, did not meet the strength requirements for a warning line, was not flagged, and was missing in some areas. HIOSH standards require the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems for work 6 feet or more above the surface. Employees also were not trained in the methods they could use to protect themselves from a fall.
As a result, Titanium Services, Inc. was cited for seven serious violations for deficiencies in the warning line system, two repeated serious violations for failing to provide adequate fall protection to employees working in elevated locations, and for failing to have records of worksite inspections. 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 about. A repeated violation is one that has been previously cited in the last three years.
In addition, an other-than-serious citation was issued because Titanium Services did not have a hazard communication program to inform employees about the chemicals used on site. Other-than-serious violations are those in which injuries are expected to be treatable by first aid measures.
Penalties for the violations totaled $84,700.
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 HIOSH at (808) 586-9116.
Under the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Law of 1972, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. HIOSH’s role is to ensure these conditions for Hawaii’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://labor.hawaii.gov/hiosh.