OSHA Cites Saipan Casino Contractors for Egregious Worker Safety Violations

Washington DC—Following is a statement by Deborah Berkowitz, senior fellow on workplace safety and health with the National Employment Law Project, and formerly a senior official at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from 2009 to 2015:

“Today, three construction contractors building a resort in Saipan where a worker was killed on the job this March, were cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violating basic safety rules and keeping fraudulent injury records. These companies, all contractors building the Imperial Pacific Resort Construction Project, were found to have failed to provide safe work conditions and clearly cut corners when it came to protecting workers.

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“No worker should have to sacrifice his health or life to earn a paycheck.

“The three companies were cited for 20 serious violations that could cause serious harm or death. These violations included unguarded machines, unsecured and unsafe scaffolding, inadequate fall protection, and the use of a fiber sling with frayed fibers to lift large steel beams. The inspection was conducted in December of 2016.

“The companies were cited for a total of $191,000—which is one of the highest penalties OSHA has issued this year. OSHA opened an additional investigation in March following the death of a Chinese immigrant worker on this same site. That inspection is still open. After the worker fatality, FBI agents also conducted an investigation.”

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