PARAMUS, N.J. -- 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 one New Jersey general contractor and four subcontractors for 21 workplace safety and health violations found at the construction site of a car dealership in Paramus. Proposed penalties total $182,380.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Nov. 12, 2010, in response to an imminent danger fall hazard observed by an OSHA compliance officer. As a result of the inspection, general contractor Infante Associates Inc. of Ridgewood was cited for three serious violations with penalties of $11,880; La Conti Concrete & Masonry Inc. of Brick was cited for eight serious violations with penalties of $30,100; Paino Roofing Co. Inc. of Hackensack was cited for four willful and two serious violations with penalties of $51,480; V.A. Spatz & Sons in Berkeley Heights was cited for one willful violation with a penalty of $44,100; and C. Mancini Construction Drywall & Acoustical Inc. of Lyndhurst was cited for one willful and two serious violations with penalties of $44,820.
"The lack of fall protection and other workplace hazards are completely unacceptable and unnecessarily put workers in harm's way," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "It is vital that these employers address all identified violations immediately to ensure a safe and healthful work environment for their employees."
The willful violations include a 12- to 36-foot fall hazard for employees performing roofing work; a fall hazard in excess of 16 feet from a walking/working surface; inadequate use of a safety monitor; a warning line not in place at all sides of the roof's surface and excavated material not kept back at least 2 feet from edge of an excavation. 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 serious violations address fall hazards in excess of 10 and 16 feet from a walking/working surface; a fall hazard of approximately 27 feet from a scaffold working level; a fall hazard of approximately 16 feet for employees performing overhand bricklaying; a lack of site housekeeping; scaffolding hazards; not maintaining the top cable of the guard rail system at its required height; exposed rebar and inappropriate use of a ladder. 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.
Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.
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 Hasbrouck Heights office; telephone 201-288-1700. 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.