Region 2 News Release: NY 165
July 31, 2001
Contact: Chester Fultz
NEWARK, N.J., CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED WILLFUL SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $78,500 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Kemsco Construction and Equipment Co., of Newark, N.J., and proposed penalties of $78,500 against the firm for two alleged willful violations and one alleged serious violation of OSHA standards. The company has until August 16 to contest the citations.
The action results from an investigation on February 21 at the site of an excavation at Tonnelle Avenue and Union Turnpike in North Bergen after an OSHA compliance officer observed employees working in an unprotected six-foot-deep trench, according to OSHA area director David Ippolito.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's trenching standard by failing to provide cave-in protection and safe means of egress from the excavation. The willful violations carry a proposed penalty of $77,000.
The company was also cited for failure to keep excavated earth a safe distance from the edge of the trench, an alleged serious violation carrying a proposed penalty of $1,500.
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 regulations. 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, New Jersey, telephone (973) 263-1003.
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