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Contractors Cited in NJ Bridge Project

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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A New Jersey construction joint venture is facing seven serious safety violations and a $41,580 fine for conditions found on a major bridge project over the Passaic River.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citations against Creamer Sanzari Joint Venture of Hackensack, a partnership by heavy construction contractors Joseph M. Sanzari Inc. and J. Fletcher Creamer & Son Inc.

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The contractors were cited for hazards during construction of a new Route 3 bridge over the Passaic River in Clifton, NJ.

The citations related to work-site conditions in Clifton, NJ, where the companies are replacing a bridge and making major improvements along state Route 3. The $148 million project began in 2010.

The construction site was one of many in the area inspected by OSHA due to the high-hazard nature of the industry.

Serious Citations

Among OSHA’s allegations:

• Ring buoys, a lifeboat and fall protection from a walking surface were not provided for employees exposed to a fall in excess of 12 feet;

• High-visibility materials were not used to mark the top rails of a guardrail system made of wire rope material;

• Bidirectional machines were not equipped with an operational horn;

• All protruding steel was not protected against impalement hazards; and

• Employees were permitted to work with machines that had a deficient lockout/tagout system to prevent unexpected start-ups.

Under OSHA’s classifications, a serious violation reflects “substantial probability” of death or serious physical injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“The construction industry continues to remain one of the most dangerous, and heavy highway and bridge work entails a variety of unique hazards," said OSHA area director Lisa Levy. "The company needs to ensure that violations of this nature are not repeated.”

OSHA History

OSHA has inspected Creamer Sanzari work sites 11 times since 2008, including one inspection of Creamer Sanzari Railroad: A Tri Venture. The JV was cited on two occasions in 2008.

On one, it paid an $875 fine for one serious violation (reduced from $3,500 for two serious violations); on the other, it paid $500 for one serious and one other-than-serious violation (reduced from $2,000 for two serious violations).

OSHA inspected Creamer an additional nine times since 2008 and issued no citations.

The agency inspected Sanzari sites nine additional times since 2008 and issued citations once in 2008, once in 2009, and once in 2010.

Creamer Sanzari has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the case.

An attorney for Creamer Sanzari told NorthJersey.com that the company was reviewing the citations.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Citations; Construction; Contractors; Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA; Violations

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