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Fall hazards result in hefty fine from federal safety agency

Employees working for Station Builders Inc., were not provided personal protective equipment and didn't use portable ladders correctly, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal safety agency also said that the company didn't conduct regular and frequent worksite inspections.

The New Jersey company has now been hit with almost $292,000 in penalties. The company has been accused of failing to provide employees fall protection at four different Lehigh Valley job sites.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that four repeat, three willful and six serious safety citations were issued last month. The citations were issued at worksites that were either single family townhouses or homes. The penalized company was a subcontractor on the job sites.

The company will have 15 days to contest the OSHA findings or comply with their recommendations. The director of the Allentown area office of OSHA said, "Since November 2015, OSHA offices in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have inspected Station Buildrs' work sites and issued citations 16 times. In each case, the violations included preventable hazards related to lack of fall protection."

The director also said that the hazards could be eliminated by making personal protective equipment readily available or "by making simple changes to its work practices."

Workplace safety should be everyone's concern. When an employee is injured due to a safety violation, workers' compensation can help take care of the employee's medical bills. However, when OSHA responds to investigate employee accidents, the company can be the one seriously penalized for not abiding by safe practices. It's important that everyone take safety seriously to help keep employees safe.

Source: The Morning Call, "OSHA fines N.J. contractor doing Lehigh Valley site work for fall hazards," Anthony Salamone, Oct. 04, 2016

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