Feb. 12, 2015
OSHA finds Northstar Contracting Group exposed workers to falls while
trimming trees at Morris Plains, N.J., psych hospital
Employer name and location: Northstar Contracting Group Inc., 32 Williams Parkway, East Hanover, N.J. 07936. The specialty services contracting company is headquartered in New York City.
Investigation site: Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, 1 Central Avenue, Morris Plains, N.J.
Date investigation initiated: The investigation was initiated on Oct. 7, 2014, after a compliance officer with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed imminent danger fall hazards while workers performed tree trimming activities from an aerial lift.
Investigation findings: The company was cited for one willful violation for failure to provide fall protection for an employee working from an aerial lift. OSHA also cited one serious violation for an employee working on the ground in the vicinity of overhead tree trimming who was exposed to struck-by hazards from falling tree limbs, or head injury due to the lack of a protective helmet.
"It is no secret that falls are the leading cause of work-related fatalities, and the risk of falling is magnified for those working from aerial lifts during tree-trimming operations. This company's failure to protect its workers from falls and other safety hazards is inexcusable," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Proposed penalties: $53,900
Citations are attached.
Release Number: 15-207-NEW (osha 15-010)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).