Why Did OSHA Cite This New Jersey Company $57,000?

Photo of injured workerLast month, Bolivar Enterprises L.L.C., a New Jersey-based company in Union City was fined $57,000 by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for nine serious safety violations. The investigation was opened after a worker fell while removing the siding from a three-story residential building. According to the report, the worker was removing the siding on an extension ladder that was part of a 25-foot-high scaffold. While removing the siding from the house, the siding gave way and the worker suffered a catastrophic fall injury and was later pronounced dead on the scene. Bolivar Enterprises was cited for allowing fall hazards to exist, in addition to the following:

  • Failing to provide the proper fall protection equipment for workers operating on the scaffold
  • Failing to erect scaffolding that met OSHA’s standards
  • Using a scaffold improperly
  • Failing to provide scaffold training to the company’s workers

OSHA’s area director released a statement saying this tragic loss of life could have been prevented, had the company properly protected its workers from a well-known hazard. Instead, the company “exposed employees to deadly falls from nearly all aspects of the job.”

How to Protect Workers From Deadly Falls

According to OSHA, there are plenty of ways employers can keep workers safe from fall hazards, including the following:

  • Installing guardrails
  • Using nets
  • Implementing personal fall protection systems
  • Adopting safe work practices and proper training for workers
  • Using warning lines
  • Outlining designated fall hazard areas
  • Creating a fall protection plan that helps workers react quickly, should the worst happen

Thinking about fall hazards before beginning projects and opening a line of conversation to the workers involved can help improve awareness and help employers manage fall hazards. Cutting costs or skimping on safety is not an option when it comes to endangering workers.

Spevack Law Firm is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that fights for victims of workplace accidents in the New Brunswick, Teaneck and Iselin areas. 

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