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A New Jersey contractor has been cited and is facing $57,000 in proposed fines from federal workplace safety regulators after an employee died following a fall from a scaffold.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Union City, New Jersey-based Bolivar Enterprises L.L.C. for nine serious violations after its December 2015 inspection, which was opened after the Bayonne Police Department reported that a worker had fallen while removing siding from a three-story residence, according to a news release issued by the agency on Tuesday.
Investigators found that the deceased employee was working on an extension ladder that was part of a scaffold about 25 feet high, according to the press release. While removing the existing siding from the front of the house, he pulled a piece of siding, it gave way, and he fell to the ground.
OSHA cited Bolivar for allowing the hazard that caused the fall, failing to provide adequate fall protection while working on the scaffold, not erecting scaffolding that met OSHA's standards, using scaffolding improperly and failing to provide scaffolding training to workers, according to the press release.
“This tragedy could have been prevented if the company had properly protected workers from fall hazards,” Bryan Flynn, acting area director of OSHA's Parsippany, New Jersey office, said in a statement. “Instead, Bolivar Enterprises exposed employees to deadly falls from nearly all aspects of the job."
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
WASHINGTON — Workers compensation insurers have to play a stepped-up role in preventing workplace safety incidents now that information about the injury and illness rates at their employer clients' workplaces will soon be publicly available, particularly as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration seeks counsel on whether to identify insurers in these reports.