US Labor Department's OSHA cites Shamong, NJ, tree service company for
safety and health violations following worker fatality
SHAMONG, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Shamong-based Devon Services, doing business as We Show Up, for 12 serious safety and health violations at a work site in Shamong. OSHA opened an inspection after an employee was fatally struck by the base of a falling tree during a cutting operation in April.
"This tragedy could have been prevented if the proper precautions had been taken, including planning an escape route before cutting any standing trees," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's area office in Marlton. "It is imperative that employers take all steps necessary for eliminating hazards and providing a safe working environment."
The violations include failing to plan an escape route before permitting employees to cut any standing trees, control fire hazards while storing gasoline on-site, provide proper personal protective equipment for workers who use chain saws to fell and buck trees, provide head protection, perform a hazard assessment, ensure that each employee was trained on using personal protective equipment, ensure that there was an on-site employee adequately trained in first aid, provide training on chemical hazards for workers operating and fueling gas-powered chain saws, ensure that employees who operated chain saws and wood chippers wore eye and face protection, and ensure that employees operated chippers using a pulley that was properly guarded. 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.
The inspection also was conducted as part of the agency's local emphasis program on the landscaping and horticultural services industries. Proposed penalties for the violations total $43,200.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director 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 Marlton Area Office at 856- 596-5200.
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.
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.