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NJ Contractor on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program after blatant disregard of worker safety

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November 18, 2010

Repeat safety violations for fall hazards has landed stucco contractor Exterior Stucco Systems Inc, of Wayne, NJ, in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program for recalcitrant employers.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) focuses on inspection of employers who endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law by committing willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances:

  • a fatality or catastrophe;
  • industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards;
  • employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals;
  • and all egregious enforcement actions.

According to an OSHA release, inspection of an Exterior Stucco Systems worksite in Staten Island, NY during a crackdown of fall hazards on construction sites found a number of violations that OSHA previously cited the company for in the past. Violations included failing to maintain a safety program, fully plank scaffold platforms, provide a ladder for safe scaffold access, remove and replace damaged scaffold components, and properly brace scaffolds with cross braces.

"Exterior Stucco Systems’ refusal to implement the proper fall protections leaves workers at risk of an accident and possible death," says Patricia Jones, director of OSHA’s area office in Avenel, N.J. "The company needs to take immediate steps to eliminate these hazards."

OSHA considers it a repeat violation if the company previously received the same or similar violation within the last five years. The number of Exterior Stucco Systems’ repeat violations caused OSHA to place the company on its SVEP program.

Of 617 fatal falls on the job in 2009, about half of those occurred in the construction industry.