June 18, 2008
Contact: Leni Fortson
OSHA proposes $877,000 in penalties
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited 160 Broadway Corp., doing business as Broadway Concrete, for numerous alleged safety and health violations, proposing $877,000 in fines. The New York City-headquartered company is the concrete contractor for the construction of 77 Hudson, a condominium project involving two 50-story condominium towers in Jersey City, N.J. Broadway Concrete is owned by Robert Cassera, who also owns Tri-State Employment Service and several other businesses.
OSHA initiated its investigation on Dec. 19, 2007, in response to a complaint alleging several fall hazards. OSHA investigators found that the company failed to provide adequate fall protection for employees exposed to falls from as high as 25 stories above the ground. The company also failed to provide protection from protruding rebar. OSHA believes most of the violations were willful because Broadway Concrete was fully aware of OSHA's fall protection requirements. Broadway Concrete's superintendent for the 77 Hudson project, as well as its vice president were previously managers at other concrete companies that had violated the same standards on many previous occasions. In this case, OSHA visited the 77 Hudson project seven times between December 19, 2007 and January 24, 2008 and found the same violations on each successive floor as the building's height increased. Despite OSHA's repeated admonishments on each of these visits, Broadway Concrete's managers still failed to comply with the OSHA construction standards. As a result, OSHA cited the company for 15 willful violations, with $870,000 in penalties, and two serious violations, with $7,000 in penalties.
"The many alleged safety violations found at Broadway Concrete's site put employees at great risk for potential injuries or death," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "Employers have a responsibility to take all required precautions to ensure a safe and healthy work environment."
OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health. Serious violations are those that could result in death or serious physical harm about which the employer knew or should have known.
Broadway Concrete has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Parsippany, N.J., area office; telephone 973-263-1003.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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