Paterson, NJ, severe violator again cited by US Labor Department's OSHA
for recurring hazards
PATERSON, N.J. – On Jan. 16, Paterson-based F&G Sons Contractors Inc., doing business as F&G Stucco and Stone Contractors Inc., was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for two repeat and two serious safety violations for failing to provide required protective equipment and to protect workers from serious fall hazards. The company was working on a building at 231 Union Blvd. in Totowa at the time of the inspection. This investigation was part of OSHA's Local Emphasis Program* on fall hazards in construction. Proposed penalties total $66,400.
"Basic safety precautions, such as hard hats and eye protection, were not provided at this work site. By repeatedly jeopardizing the safety and health of his workers, F&G owner Peter Guidice continues to demonstrate a blatant disregard for worker safety," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "This is reflected in the fact that the same violations from this investigation have been cited at several work sites overseen by Guidice."
OSHA previously cited this company in September 2009, August 2010 and in March 2013, resulting in $108,640 in proposed penalties. Prior to the current inspection, the company was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The agency's SVEP focuses on employers that consistently endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
The repeat violations, with a $53,900 penalty, are due to the company's failure to provide helmets to protect workers from struck-by hazards from a scaffold pole that was being lowered over their heads, and failure to ensure employees cutting stone wore eye protection. Similar violations were cited in 2010*. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Carrying a $12,500 penalty, the serious violations include employee exposure to fall hazards and stairways unequipped with guardrails. 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.
"F&G Sons, and employers like them that repeatedly fail to supply and ensure the use of effective fall protection and standard safeguards, continue to gamble with their workers' lives," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's New York regional administrator. "This company's active and ongoing disregard for its workers' safety is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
OSHA's fall prevention campaign provides employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. Information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Hasbrouck Heights, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office at 201-288-1700.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.