OSHA settles case with New Jersey building contractor

ConDig (10-Oct-23).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has struck a settlement agreement with a New Jersey building contractor who allowed its subcontractors’ employees to work in close proximity to high-voltage power lines on a project in Paterson.

The litigation followed inspections in 2021 and 2022 that found Litana Development Inc. of Wayne was allowing workers employed by four subcontractors – Prata Construction LLC of Denville, Konopka Construction Inc. of Hillside, Freitas Construction LLC of Carteret, and Elite Brothers Construction LLC of Paterson — to be exposed to potentially deadly electrical hazards.

OSHA found Litana had permitted workers to erect scaffolds and work between five and seven feet from live power lines. 

The agency issued two willful citations to Litana and two willful citations to subcontractors. Inspectors returned on multiple occasions in 2022 and found workers again exposed to the same hazards.

OSHA said that the agreement with Litana affirms all citations issued for the company’s failures to protect workers in 2021 and 2022 and affirms $180,000 in penalties for the citations.

“This case came about because the employer chose to start working without regard to protecting their workers,” said OSHA regional administrator Richard Mendelson in New York. “This settlement holds Litana Development Inc. responsible for its failures and will make the company’s job sites safer for the people who work at them.”

Last month, OSHA fined a Georgia-based concrete pipe manufacturer $245,546 after a 19-year-old worker died inside a mixer.