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Chronic fall hazards land contractor in trouble


A New Jersey contractor is facing $385,836 in proposed fines from federal workplace safety regulators for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at multiple worksites.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cinnaminson, New Jersey-based residential construction contractor Berlin Builders Inc. for two willful violations for failing to provide and use fall protection or guardrails and for improperly using a step ladder, according to citations released by the agency on Thursday.

The contractor was also cited for nine repeat and eight serious violations at jobsites in Delaware and Pennsylvania, including fall hazards on scaffold platforms and failing to inspect the jobsite for fall- and fire-related hazards, according to OSHA.

In the past 12 months, Berlin Builders has been inspected 23 times at worksites across Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, resulting in penalties totaling $403,690, according to the agency.

“Berlin Builders is a serial violator that callously refuses to take even the most basic steps to protect workers from falls and other serious hazards in construction, an industry among the nation's most hazardous,” Richard Mendelson, OSHA's regional administrator in Philadelphia, said in a statement. “It is vital that construction companies take responsibility for protecting their workers from preventable injuries and serious hazards. No one should have to sacrifice their safety for their livelihood.”

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

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