OSHA Fines 4 N.J. Contractors for Fall Hazards Exposure
The Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined four New Jersey contractors a total of $463,350 for exposing workers to fall hazards. The fines follow a December 2011 OSHA inspection in which employees of the four firms working on the fourth floor of the 20-story Cast Iron Lofts project in Jersey City lacked fall protection or fall protection systems, OSHA says.
The agency fined Jersey City-based owner White Diamonds Properties LLC $95,400 and masonry contractor Blade Contracting Inc. $11,550.
Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.-based Altura Concrete Inc. and Nathil Corp., the concrete contractors for the foundation and superstructure of the 220,000-sq-ft, mixed-use building, were fined $356,400 each. OSHA says the violations include failing to protect workers from hazards created by open sides and edges on the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th, and 13th floors as well as failing to provide protective equipment and a cap for an acetylene tank in storage. Other violations included failure to store cylinders upright and to separate oxygen and acetylene tanks.
At press time, neither Altura nor Blade returned calls and efforts to reach Nathil and White Diamonds were unsuccessful.
All employers have contested the violations and penalties, says an OSHA spokeswoman. The agency is also continuing to inspect Blade at the site in response to an accident in which an employee fell from a balcony and was injured, says the spokeswoman. OSHA would not elaborate further.
Construction on the project, which will include 155 residential units, 11,070 sq ft of ground floor retail space, and a 175-parking space garage, began in the fall of 2011. The citations have not held up the project, OSHA says.