Region 2 News Release: NY 166
July 31, 2001
Contact: Chester Fultz
TWO NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES CITED BY OSHA
FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $102,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
PARSIPPANY, N.J. The U. S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AJP Construction., Inc., of Rutherford, and Northeastern Commonwealth of Lakewood, N. J., and proposed penalties of $102,000 against the firms, alleging willful, repeat, and serious violations of OSHA standards.
The action results from an investigation following a fatality on January 30 at the South Waterfront Condominiums, 333 River Street in Hoboken. James Sherengo of Ridgewood, an employee of AJP Construction, was killed when he was struck by falling lumber while standing on a scaffold. OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA standards by failing to provide proper fall protection for its employees. The alleged willful violation carries a total proposed penalty of $70,000.
"This employer knew and understood the requirement to provide fall protection for workers, and yet took no action to assure that proper scaffolding procedures were followed", said OSHA area director David Ippolito.
OSHA also cited Northeastern Commonwealth for failure to provide proper fall protection for an
employee working on the edge of an exposed floor, an alleged repeat violation carrying a total proposed penalty of $4,000. The company had previously been cited for a similar serious violation on December 22, 2000 at the same condominium construction site.
In addition, both companies received OSHA citations for the following alleged serious violations:
- failure to have a competent person erect scaffolding.
- failure to use tag lines on hoisted loads.
- failure to properly secure loads above a working scaffold.
- failure to ensure that a qualified professional engineer designed scaffolding.
- failure to provide fall protection and fall protection training to employees working on scaffolding and floor edges.
The alleged serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $28,000.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA Act and its regulations. A repeat violation is one for which an employer has previously been cited for the same or for a substantially similar violation, and which has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Parsippany area office, located at 299 Cherry Hill Road, Suite 304, Parsippany, N. J. Telephone: (973) 263-1003.
The companies have until August 20 to contest the citations.
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