OSHA Fines Four Contractors for Exposing Workers to Falls, Other Hazards

Words: Dan KamysOSHA Fines Four Contractors for Exposing Workers to Falls, Other Hazards
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administrationhas cited four New Jersey contractors working on a 20-story building in Jersey City for exposing workers to fall hazards, following a December 2011 inspection during which inspectors observed employees working on the fourth floor without personal fall protection or fall protection systems. Altura Concrete Inc. and Nathil Corp., both of Hasbrouck Heights, and White Diamonds Properties LLC and Blade Contracting Inc., both of Jersey City, face total proposed fines of $463,350.
 
Altura Concrete Inc. and Nathil Corp., the concrete contractors for the foundation and superstructure of the building, directed 75 employees on site. The two companies have been cited for five willful violations ??? including four instance-by-instance (that is, egregious) violations ??? for failing to protect workers from fall hazards created by open sides and edges on the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th and 13th floors, as well as protect workers from fall hazards created by the misuse of self-supporting stepladders. 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 citations carry $315,000 in penalties.
 
The companies also have received citations for nine serious violations, including failing to provide personal protective equipment, provide a cap for an acetylene tank in storage, store cylinders in an upright position, separate oxygen and acetylene tanks, provide fall protection for workers installing ribs, provide protection from protruding rebar, maintain shoring/reshoring plans on-site, provide railings on stairs, protect workers from fall hazards created by open holes, secure the cover over a floor hole and mark the floor hole cover. The citations carry $40,500 in penalties. 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.
 
One other-than-serious violation has been cited for failing to record an injury on the OSHA 300 log. The citation carries a $900 penalty. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
 
General contractor White Diamonds Properties, with seven employees on-site, has been issued citations for two willful violations involving failing to protect workers from fall hazards, as well as citations for five serious violations related to improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, unprotected rebar and failing to have drawings for shoring/reshoring on site. The citations carry $95,400 in penalties.
 
Masonry contractor Blade Contracting, with 21 employees on site, has been cited with three serious violations for failing to protect workers from fall hazards, properly use a scaffold and inspect scaffold components for defects. The citations carry $11,550 in penalties.
 
Citations for Altura Concrete Inc. and Nathil Corp. can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AlturaConcreteIncNathilCorporation_316089861_0601_12.pdf;
 
The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Westlake Royal Building Products™ to Showcase Be Boundless™ Campaign, Top Industry Trends and New Product Innovations at Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC)

HOUSTON (June 18, 2024) — Westlake Royal Building Products™ (Westlake Royal), a Westlake company (NYSE:WLK), will showcase its Be Boundless™ campaign, top industry trends and new product innovations at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in Anahe

Bringing Bricks Back To Life

BrickRecyc, a machine that removes old mortar from bricks, was invented by three entrepreneurs from Quebec in 2021. Tommy Bouillon, David Dufour, and Hugo Cartier were the innovation's source. The invention emerged out of necessity. Tommy Bouillon, head o

Are Your Employees Safe While Working In Hot Weather?

As the temperatures rise outside during summer months, so do the risks that employees working in hot conditions may be harmed by the dangerous effects it can have. Exposure to high temperatures can be deadly. It’s your responsibility as a business owner

Maximizing Efficiency with CrewTracks

In the masonry industry, efficient project management is crucial for success. CrewTracks addresses this need by streamlining various aspects of daily operations.