Paterson, NJ, contractor faces $49,600 in fines from US Labor Department’s
OSHA for repeat fall, serious safety hazards
PATERSON, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Paterson-based R.E. General Contractor LLC for alleged repeat and serious violations of occupational safety standards found while workers replaced a roof on a commercial building at 500 Grand St. in Paterson. The general contractor faces a total of $49,600 in proposed fines following a December 2012 imminent danger inspection by OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office.
Two repeat violations, with a $46,800 penalty, were cited for exposing workers to fall hazards of approximately 50 feet while workers engaged in roofing work without fall protection in place. Workers also used an extension ladder that did not extend at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface. 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. OSHA cited similar violations in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
One serious violation, carrying a $2,800 fine, resulted from the failure to provide workers with hard hat protection while working near the forks of a material boom lift. 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.
"OSHA will not tolerate this company’s continuous disregard for adequate fall protection," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers exposed to fall hazards are provided with the proper fall protection equipment, are trained in its use and wear it whenever a fall hazard is present."
OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
R.E. General Contractor LLC has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Hasbrouck Heights, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office at 201-288-1700.
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.