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Contractor cited for scaffolding safety violations

One of the most dangerous situations for construction workers to encounter is on a poorly erected, inadequately anchored or overloaded scaffold. Those situations can lead to falls and serious injuries.

We recently read a report on a contractor who has apparently repeatedly violated scaffolding safety regulations on job sites south of New York City.

The most recent citations were issued by the federal Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration at the company's Voorhees, New Jersey, worksite.

Inspectors found that workers were exposed to scaffold hazards; OSHA issued citations with accompanying fines totaling $50,130.

The company was cited for repeat violations for a lack of fall protection for its use of cross braces for workers to walk on and work on. The company's scaffolds also apparently lacked toe boards.

Repeat violations occur when a company has been cited by OSHA for similar violations in the past.

This particular company was cited in 2010 and 2008 for fall protection violations at other worksites.

"The company's failure to correct these hazards leaves workers vulnerable to accidents common to scaffolding, which can cause serious injury and possible death," said the OSHA area director.

In addition to the repeat violations, the contractor was ticketed for serious violations for failing to provide training on scaffolds and on proper set-up of portable extension ladders.

Falls are the leading cause of deaths and injuries in the construction industry. New York workers who are injured in a fall should speak with an attorney if they are for any reason denied workers' compensation benefits.

Source: OSHA, "US Labor Department's OSHA fines Voorhees, NJ, masonry group more than$50,000 for scaffold, safety hazards," April 10, 2013

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