OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited a Rutherford, N.J. construction firm for exposing workers to falls of up to 300 feet without fall protection, and proposed penalties against them totaling $244,900.
OSHA cited Major Construction Co., Inc., a concrete contractor, for 19 alleged violations, including four alleged willful violations for lack of fall protection, during construction of a high rise residential apartment tower in Jersey City, N.J.
"The owner of this company is aware of fall protection guidelines because he was cited for similar violations in previous inspections," said Charles Jeffress, OSHA Administrator. "Throughout this inspection, the company failed to provide required fall protection after OSHA brought the hazardous conditions to its attention. At the Jersey City site, we were forced to post an imminent danger notice when employees were working on the 30th floor with no fall protection. That kind of indifference to worker safety will not be tolerated."
Major Construction Co. employs approximately 60 workers and was formerly known as MJP Construction Corp. In February 1998, OSHA issued citations to MJP totaling $159,900 in penalties alleging similar fall protection violations at the same site during construction of an adjacent building. That case is currently pending.
The citations issued today were prompted by an inspection during November 1998 after an OSHA compliance officer from the Parsippany, N.J. area office observed employees working at unprotected edges of the high-rise building. For two months after the initial observation, OSHA met with employer representatives to offer abatement assistance. In spite of an imminent danger notice posted on site on Jan. 12 of this year, the employer continued to expose employees to falls exceeding 300 feet, with no protection.
Of the 19 violations cited, four were alleged willful violations related to 37 instances of fall protection hazards. The company was also cited for 14 alleged serious violations involving 31 instances, totaling $44,900 in penalties, and included lack of eye personal protective equipment, exposed live electrical parts, unprotected floor holes, undeveloped form work plans, no defined controlled access zones, and failure to maintain a fall protection plan at the job site. Finally, one alleged other-than-serious violation was issued related to the incorrect use of stepladders. No penalty was assessed.
This is the second New Jersey construction company cited in as many weeks for safety violations related to fall protection. On April 20, OSHA issued 15 alleged violations, including eight alleged willful violations, to Avcon, Inc. of Westwood, N.J. for exposing workers to fall hazards. Proposed penalties against that contractor totaled $424,000.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and OSHA regulations. A serious violation is defined as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Major Construction Co. has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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