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Pandemic Preparedness Experts

Pandemic Preparedness Experts
COVID Safe Workplaces

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

OSHA cites 6 contractors for exposing workers to falls

Six contractors constructing luxury single-family homes at the future site of Hawthorne Estates in Medford put workers at risk of serious or fatal injuries by failing to comply with federal requirements to prevent falls, the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

After multiple on-site investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the companies for exposing workers to falls and other dangerous safety hazards while erecting walls and sheathing roofs.


OSHA initiated three of the inspections as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. During the first on Oct. 20, 2020, the compliance officer observed workers exposed to falls and other hazards. Inspectors observed the same hazards during a second inspection two days later, prompting the third inspection on Oct. 31.


After the three inspections, OSHA proposed total penalties of $244,397 and cited the companies collectively for four willful and 35 serious violations, including exposing workers to falls greater than 6 feet and not providing personal protective equipment. The companies, citations and proposed penalties are:


Company Name

City

State

Citations

Proposed Penalty

Claudio DeSousa, operating as Lifetime Contractor Corp.

Philadelphia

PA

2 willful

14 serious

$107,279

Lezinho Sousa, operating as Lifetime Contractor Corp.

Pennsauken

NJ

2 willful

9 serious

$87,381

WSJ Construction

Asbury Park

NJ

3 serious

$16,383

Gustavo Quintomillno, operating as Lifetime Contractor Corp.

Beverly

NJ

4 serious

$12,874

LWJ Construction LLC

Long Branch

NJ

3 serious

$12,288

RMM Contractor LLC

Long Branch

NJ

2 serious

$8,192

"A fall can permanently alter or end a worker’s life in a matter of seconds," said OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton, New Jersey. "Contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry have a legal obligation to comply with the law and ensure their workers end their shifts safely. When employers fail to follow requirements, OSHA will hold them responsible to the fullest extent of the law.”


OSHA encourages employers to use its Stop Falls online resources, including detailed information on fall protection standards in English and Spanish. The site offers fact sheets, posters and videos that illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.


The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.