OSHA Proposes $157,080 in Penalties for Fall and Other Hazards at New Jersey Work Sites

CMZ Construction LLC faces penalties for exposing workers to safety hazards at two separate jobsites.

NEWARK, N.J., June 21 -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration issued the following press release:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited CMZ Construction LLC for exposing workers to safety hazards at a residential home construction site in Iselin and a 13-building apartment complex in Springfield. Proposed penalties total $157,080.

OSHA initiated its inspection as part of a local emphasis program on fall protection. As a result, the company was cited for three willful violations with penalties of $128,700, one repeat violation with a penalty of $9,240 and four serious violations with penalties of $19,140.

"Each of these violations leaves employees vulnerable to hazards that can cause injury and possible death," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "It is vital that the company correct these violations immediately to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for its employees."

The willful violations include failing to protect employees from falls at heights of 28 and 40 feet, and not providing head protection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The repeat violation addresses the company's failure to provide eye and face protection. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The serious violations include the company's use of ladders with structural defects and the use of a worn or frayed electrical cord at the job site. 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.

CMZ Construction employs a total of 21 workers, with five workers employed at the inspected sites.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Avenel Area Office; telephone 732-750-3270. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.