OSHA Cites N.J. Developer for Worksite Hazards

July 5, 2005

The developer of a multi-unit residential complex in Rochelle Park, N.J., has been cited by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for multiple violations of safety and health standards. Proposed penalties total $121,000.

Town & Country Developers, headquartered in Woodcliff, N.J., was issued citations alleging three willful violations, with a penalty of $99,000, for exposing employees to falls of six feet or more and improperly storing liquefied petroleum gas containers. Willful violations are defined by OSHA as the intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

“Exposing workers to dangerous falls and improperly storing gases that can explode put these workers at great risk,” said Lisa Levy, area director of the Hasbrouck Heights OSHA office. “This employer is well aware of safety requirements but did not follow them.”

Citations for serious violations, with a proposed penalty of $14,000, were issued due to the employer’s reported failure to protect employees from falls, allowing foot traffic on dangerous stairs, lack of handrails and allowing temporary heaters too close to combustible materials. Serious violations are cited when death or serious injury could occur from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

The single repeat citation carries a penalty of $8,000. It was issued for failure to provide fire extinguishers on the site and in areas where combustible gases were stored. OSHA reportedly cited Town & Country Developers for a similar violation in the past.

The inspection was conducted by the Hasbrouck Heights OSHA office, 500 Route 17 S., phone (201) 288-1700. The company has 15 working days to request an informal meeting with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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