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A Paterson contractor faces $49,600 in fines for alleged repeat safety violations, including fall hazards and failing to supply workers with hard hats, following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency said Tuesday. R.E. General Contractor LLC was cited for not meeting occupational safety standards while workers replaced a roof on a commercial building at 500 Grand St. in Paterson, OSHA said. The charges stem from a December 2012 imminent-danger inspection by the agency's Hasbrouck Heights area office. OSHA cited the Paterson company for two repeat violations, with a $46,800 penalty, for exposing workers on a roof to fall hazards of about 50 feet without safety protection in place. Workers also were using a ladder that didn't extend at least three feet above the upper landing surface, OSHA charged. The roofing and siding contractor also faces a serious violation, carrying a $2,800 fine, for failing to provide employees with hard-hat protection while they worked near the forks of a material boom lift. Under federal regulations, a serious violation occurs when "there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known." R.E. General Contractor, which couldn't be reached for comment, was cited by OSHA for similar violations in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The company was fined $750 in 2008, $4,000 in 2010 and $46,200 in 2011. "OSHA will not tolerate this company's continuous disregard for adequate fall protection," Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights area office, said in a statement. "Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers exposed to fall hazards are provided with the proper fall protection equipment, are trained in its use and wear it whenever a fall hazard is present." R.E. General Contractor has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Hasbrouck Heights, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Last year a damning report into Canberra's construction industry found the ACT has a distressing safety record with the serious injury rate 31 per cent higher than the national average. The Government agreed to the report's recommendations which included on-the-spot fines. Workplace Safety Minister Simon Corbell says 11 types of safety breaches will be covered by the new fines. "These deal with relatively straight forward, factual matters that allow inspectors to exercise their discretion and issue a fine," he said. "That will send a message to people in control of development sites that they have to keep their house in order in relation to these basic safety obligations." WorkSafe ACT has welcomed the new powers, saying employers could face on-the-spot fines of around $3,000. WorkSafety commissioner Mark McCabe says construction companies can no longer gamble on work safety. "I think they knew it's only the very serious cases that are going to end up in court," he said. "They could roll the dice and just hope to get away with it basically." Under the new penalties, building site managers will still be able to challenge a fine in the courts if they believe it has been incorrectly imposed.
A man has been killed while delivering building materials to a house in Northamptonshire. The Jackson Building Centres driver was making a delivery in Corby on Tuesday morning when the accident happened. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. A spokesman for the company said it was co-operating with the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which confirmed it was investigating. Lyndon Johnson, the company’s divisional director, told the BBC: “This is a tragic accident and the shock is felt very deeply by all of us here. “Our thoughts and sympathies now lie with his family, friends and colleagues.” The man has not yet been named, and no further details about the accident have been released.
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