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February 16, 2024
NJ contractor facing $1 million OSHA fine for fall hazards

Paterson, New Jersey, contractor Adrian Construction Group LLC faces $1,017,248 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for fall protection violations, the agency announced February 12. OSHA also placed the employer in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP) due to the egregious nature of the fall violations.

The agency cited Adrian Construction Group with six willful violations for a lack of fall protection and failure to ensure the use of eye protection and four serious violations for unsafe scaffolds and failure to provide hard hats for overhead hazards.

OSHA initiated its inspection of a site in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, under a local emphasis program for falls in construction. The agency noted it had inspected Adrian Construction five times since 2016, and in each instance, the agency cited the company for failure to provide workers with fall protection.

“Adrian Construction, under the ownership of Adrian Perea, continues to show a blatant disregard for the safety of their employees,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said in a statement. “Placing them on the list of severe violators will intensify our scrutiny of their operations.”

Last fall, OSHA reported that its construction industry fall protection standard was its most frequently cited standard for the 13th straight year. The agency cited 7,271 violations of 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1926.501 in fiscal year 2023.

Falls are one of the construction industry’s “fatal four” safety hazards, along with caught-in/-between, electrocution, and struck-by hazards. The agency noted Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data showing that 395 of the 1,069 construction worker deaths on the job in 2022 were related to falls from elevations. Exposure to fall hazards makes residential framing and roofing work among the deadliest jobs in construction, according to OSHA.

Illinois contractor facing $264K in OSHA fines for fall hazards

United Custom Homes LLC of Oswego, Illinois, faces $264,143 in OSHA penalties for one repeat, one willful, one serious, and one other-than-serious violation, the agency announced February 12. United Custom Homes also currently owes $238,572 in previously unpaid OSHA penalties, according to the agency. 

On August 23, 2023, OSHA investigators observed employees of United Custom Homes working without protective equipment at heights up to 20 feet on a residential home under construction.  

Newly cited violations include the company’s failure to provide fall protection equipment or train employees in fall hazards, improper use of ladders, and failure to recertify workers in the operation of powered industrial vehicles every 3 years, as required. The agency has cited the employer for similar violations seven times since 2015.

“United Custom Homes continues to ignore federal safety regulations and endanger workers’ lives by exposing them to deadly fall hazards,” Jim Martineck, OSHA’s Chicago south area office director, said in a statement. “Every employer has a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace, train workers, and provide necessary equipment to keep them safe on the job. We will continue holding this employer accountable for their willing disregard of the law.”

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