OSHA fines New Jersey contractor for fall hazards

ConDig (14-May-19).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a New Jersey-based contractor $19,890 for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards on a project in Paterson.

Following a notification from the Paterson Police Department that an employee suffered a fatal fall during roofing removal and replacement work, the agency began a probe in October last year and found that Eastern Contractors LLC exposed employees to fall hazards. It also determined that it had failed to cover roof openings, provide a fall protection system and train workers on safety hazards present at the worksite.

The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Last week, OSHA fined a Florida contractor $26,142 after a worker fell to their death on a project in Naples.The agency said that remodeling contractor Stettinius Construction Inc failed to provide fall protection system, train employees on ladder safety and identify potential fall hazards that allowed employees to use a portable ladder that did not extend above the landing.

Last month, OSHA fined a Berlin Heights, Ohio-based construction company $56,828 after an employee fell 26-foot on a construction worksite in Gainesville, Florida.

A 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released in December showed that the rate of fatal injuries in the construction industry increased 6% in 2016 to 991 worker deaths compared with 937 in 2015.

BLS figures showed that falls, struck by objects, electrocutions and caught-in/between accounted for 63.7% of all construction worker deaths in last year. There was a rise in total construction worker deaths for each of the “Fatal Four” in 2016.

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