US Labor Department's OSHA cites Rochelle Park, NJ,
stucco contractor for fall hazards at Somerville, NJ, worksite
Company added to Severe Violator Enforcement Program
ROCHELLE, PARK, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Beno Stucco Systems of Rochelle Park for exposing workers to fall hazards while performing stucco work at the NJ Transit Somerville Train Station. Proposed penalties total $69,300.
OSHA initiated an inspection of the site in November 2010 as part of a local emphasis program focused on fall hazards in construction. As a result, the company received citations for four repeat violations with a penalty of $64,680 and one serious violation with a penalty of $4,620.
"Beno Stucco Systems' refusal to implement proper fall protections reflects a careless approach to workplace safety, leaving workers at risk of serious injury and possible death," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's area office in Avenel, N.J. "The company must take immediate steps to eliminate these hazards."
The repeat violations are due to the company's failure to fully plank scaffold platforms, erect scaffolds on a firm foundation, provide a fall protection system and properly brace scaffolds with cross braces. 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. Due to the number of repeat violations cited, the company has been added to OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Initiated in June 2010, SVEP is intended to focus OSHA enforcement resources on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe; industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards; employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals; and all egregious enforcement actions. For more information on SVEP, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/svep-directive.pdf*.
The company has been cited with a serious violation for failing to conduct frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite. A serious citation is issued 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. Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.
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. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Avenel Area Office; telephone 732-750-3270. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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 assure 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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.