U.S. Department of Labor Cites New Jersey Landscaper After Two Employees Succumb to Carbon Monoxide Exposure
CRESSKILL, NJ - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited AJR Landscaping Inc. – based in Cresskill, New Jersey – for exposing employees to carbon monoxide (CO) after two workers succumbed to the toxic gas.
OSHA initiated an inspection after the Washington Township New Jersey Police Department notified the agency that the workers died from CO exposure after a gasoline-powered lawnmower was started inside an enclosed company trailer that transported the crew to a jobsite. OSHA issued serious citations to AJR for exposing the employees to carbon monoxide, and for failing to train employees to recognize the hazard. The company faces penalties of $17,051.
“Any time there is a gas-powered motor or engine running in an enclosed space, there is risk of exposure to exhaust fumes, which contain carbon monoxide, an odorless and poisonous gas,” said OSHA Area Office Director Lisa Levy, in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. “This tragedy was preventable if the employer had adhered to basic safety and health practices.”
OSHA provides compliance assistance resources on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning at https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/carbonmonoxide-factsheet.pdf.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights