Investigators Witness Fall Hazards, Fine Construction Firm $47K

OSHA has cited Acies Group LLC for three repeat violations and one serious violation related to fall hazards at a construction worksite in Lebanon, N.J. Proposed penalties total $47,000.

The agency initiated an investigation on Jan. 19 as part of a local emphasis program focused on fall hazards in the construction industry after investigators observed workers being exposed to fall hazards as high as 24 feet while performing masonry work on the exterior of a building.

"Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's area office in Avenel, N.J. "It is vital that employers protect their workers from these deadly hazards, and provide an overall safe and healthful workplace."

The repeat violations include the company's failure to adequately plank scaffolding, provide workers with a ladder to ensure safe access to scaffolding, and provide a fall protection system for employees working from a scaffold. A repeat violation is issued when an employer previously was cited for the same or similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other facilities in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

The serious violation was for failure to provide workers with a fall arrest harness with a lanyard. OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

Detailed information on scaffold hazards and safe work practices, including an interactive e-tool, is available online at www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request 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 report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.

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