OSHA sharpens fall-protection focus, fines NJ contractor $222K
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a New Jersey framing contractor two repeat safety violation citations and fined the company $222,697 for failing to provide proper fall and eye protection.
OSHA said agency inspectors saw Frame Q employees executing framing tasks without the proper fall-protection measures in place. The agency added that Frame Q also did not provide adequate eye protection for its employees.
OSHA said it cited Frame Q in March 2014 for fall- and eye-protection violations as well.
Lisa Levy, OSHA's office director in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, said in a statement that falls cause the most construction worker deaths and that Frame Q is acting irresponsibly by not providing its employees with the appropriate protection.
OSHA said the investigation into Frame Q was part of its Local Emphasis Program on Falls program for Region 2 (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which allows for more inspections on sites where fall hazards are most likely to exist. According to the agency, there were 828 construction deaths in 2013, with 37% due to falls, slips or trips. In 2015, there were 51 construction deaths in Region 2 alone, and more than one-third of those were due to falls.
OSHA's focus on fall protection has led the administration to take action against several other contractors in different regions of the country. The agency recently cited and fined another New Jersey contractor for a series of safety violations, including fall protection. OSHA said it saw Station Builders' employees in "imminent danger" from fall, personal protective and ladder violations, and therefore issued the company 13 related citations and a $291,997 fine. In Florida, a Fast Carpentry employee on his first day of work was nearly killed when a gust of wind caught a piece of roof sheathing he was carrying, throwing him 14 feet to the ground. He was left seriously injured after being partially impaled on a metal fence post. As a result, OSHA fined Fast $152,145 and cited the company for willful and repeated safety violations.
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