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New Jersey employer fined for exposing workers to workplace accidents

All New Jersey workers face a risk of workplace accidents. Workplace accidents can happen in any work situation, ranging from construction sites to offices. A workplace accident is often preventable and attributable to the negligence of an employer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help an injured worker understand all possible sources of compensation for a workplace injury, including workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined a tree service business for serious health and safety violations at a worksite. Unfortunately these fines follow the death of a worker in April. The worker died when he was struck by the base of a falling tree during one of the business’ tree cutting operations.

The tree cutting business is based in Shamong Township, in Burlington county. Inspectors say that the business failed to provide a planned escape route to employees before it allowed employees to cut trees. The employer also failed to prevent fire hazards while storing gasoline at work sites or provide proper safety equipment to employees.

OSHA plans to fine the employer a total of $43,200 for 12 serious health and safety violations. A serious violation is defined as a safety violation that creates a substantial risk of death or serious personal injuries. The worker’s death was preventable and hopefully the OSHA fines will encourage this and other New Jersey employers to take worker safety seriously.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the proper precautions had been taken,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s area office in Marlton. “It is imperative that employers take all steps necessary for eliminating hazards and providing a safe working environment.”

Source: OSHA, “US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Shamong, NJ, tree service company for safety and health violations following worker fatality,” Region 2 News Release: 11-1457-NEW, Oct. 12, 2011

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