$107,900 in Fines Issued to New Jersey Contractor for Fall Hazards

A willful violation was issued due to the company permitting employees to install trusses of approximately 35 feet at the leading edge of the building without safety nets or personal fall arrest systems.

OSHA has issued citations to Sousa Contractors Inc. for exposing workers to fall hazards and other safety violations at an apartment building construction site in West Windsor Township, N.J. Proposed penalties total $107,900.

OSHA initiated an inspection on Dec. 10, 2010, as part of its Local Emphasis Program on Fall Hazards in Construction. As a result, the company was cited for one willful violation, with a penalty of $70,000; six serious violations, with a penalty of $37,900; and one other-than-serious violation, which carried no penalty.

"This company's failure to implement proper fall protection reflects a careless approach to workplace safety, leaving workers at risk of serious injury and possible death," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton, N.J., area office. "It's vital that Sousa Contractors correct these hazards to protect its workers."

The willful violation was due to the company permitting employees to install trusses of approximately 35 feet at the leading edge of the building without safety nets or personal fall arrest systems.

The serious violations include the company's failure to provide employees with instruction on the recognition of safety and health hazards; ensure employees were not exposed to debris such as protruding nails and lumber; provide safety glasses; ensure employees using an aluminum extension ladder extended the ladder 3 feet above the landing; ensure employees used an aluminum extension ladder at a safe angle; and ensure employees were grasping an extension ladder.

The other-than-serious violation was due to the company's failure to prepare a written certification for fall protection training.

Sousa Contractors Inc. is a general contractor that supplies construction crews for framing, roofing, and masonry work.

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