US Labor Department's OSHA secures federal court order and injunction
to protect workers on West Windsor, NJ, construction site
Sousa Contractors repeatedly placed workers in imminent danger of fall hazards
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has secured a consent order and injunction requiring Sousa Contractors Inc. to comply with OSHA regulations at a West Windsor construction site by providing fall protection equipment to employees working from heights of 6 feet or greater as well as proper scaffolding for employees who are installing roof trusses.
OSHA cited the Sayreville-based general contractor in June for exposing employees to fall hazards and proposed $107,900 in penalties. Subsequently, inspectors repeatedly observed workers placed in imminent danger – one that could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm – while installing roof trusses approximately 35 feet above the ground without any fall protection.
"OSHA sought this order and injunction to protect the employees of Sousa Contractors from potentially deadly fall hazards," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "Falls pose a major threat to construction workers and must be taken seriously by employers."
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the order and injunction also require the company to retain an independent safety consultant with substantial construction experience throughout the duration of the work at the West Windsor site; have a foreman, manager or consultant who has completed OSHA's 30-hour construction safety course supervise work on all of the company's work sites; provide OSHA's 10-hour construction safety course to all employees before Oct. 1; and notify OSHA of every construction project that is projected to take more than one week to complete. Sousa Contractors also is required to pay all outstanding penalties imposed by OSHA. In addition to the $107,900, the company must pay $54,250 for two previous unpaid inspections that have become final orders of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Sousa Contractors supplies construction crews for framing, roofing and masonry work.
Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for those 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.
Solis v. Sousa Contractors Inc.
Civil Action Number: 3:11-cv-04859-GEB-LHG
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.