New Jersey Contractor Fined $200K for Safety Hazards After Worker Injury

A Trenton, New Jersey-based contractor is being fined $201,000 after one of its employees suffered serious injuries when the roof beneath him collapsed.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Osman “Alex” Inestrosa – who operates using the name Lifetime Contractor Corp. – and proposed penalties totaling $201,090 after two OSHA investigations in the fall of 2020.

OSHA initiated an inspection in September 2020 in response to a complaint and found Inestrosa allowed a worker to make roof repairs without proper safety protections at a multi-family residential complex in Mahwah. The agency cited Inestrosa with four willful violations that included exposing workers to tripping and fire hazards, failing to ensure workers wore hard hats and exposing workers to eye injuries. OSHA proposed penalties of $109,224.

One month later, OSHA initiated a second inspection at an Elmwood Park apartment complex when the roof of a multi-car garage collapsed causing serious injuries to a roofing worker employed by Inestrosa. Once again, inspectors found Inestrosa failed to provide fall protection, hardhats and eye protection and permitted use of the wrong ladders. The agency cited the contractor for three willful and three serious violations and proposed $91,866 in penalties.

“Falls continue to be the leading cause of serious injuries and death in the construction industry and yet, fall protection citations are among the most common we record each year,” said OSHA Area Director Lisa Levy of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in a U.S. Department of Labor press release. “On multiple occasions, this employer knowingly disregarded well-known safety protocols, and we will hold him accountable for failing to meet his legal obligation.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor