MARLTON, N.J. — Six contractors constructing luxury single-family homes at the future site of Hawthorne Estates in Medford, N.J. are accused of putting workers at risk of serious or fatal injuries.

After multiple on-site investigations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the companies for exposing workers to falls and other dangerous safety hazards while erecting walls and sheathing roofs.

According to a release, OSHA initiated three of the inspections as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. During the first on Oct. 20, 2020, the compliance officer observed workers exposed to falls and other hazards. Inspectors observed the same hazards during a second inspection two days later, prompting the third inspection on Oct. 31.

After the three inspections, OSHA proposed total penalties of $244,397 and cited the companies collectively for four willful and 35 serious violations, including exposing workers to falls greater than 6 feet and not providing personal protective equipment.

Claudio DeSousa, operating as Lifetime Contractor Corp. of Philadelphia, Pa., faces $107,279 in penalties; Lezinho Sousa, operating as Lifetime Contractor Corp. of Pennsauken, N.J., faces $87,381 in penalties; WSJ Construction of Asbury Park, N.J., faces $16,383 in penalties; Gustavo Quintomillno, operating as Lifetime Contractor Corp. out of Beverly, N.J., faces $12,874 in penalties; LWJ Construction LLC of Long Branch, N.J., faces $12,288 in penalties; RMM Contractor LLC of Long Branch, N.J. faces $8,192 in penalties.

“A fall can permanently alter or end a worker’s life in a matter of seconds,” said OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton, N.J. “Contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry have a legal obligation to comply with the law and ensure their workers end their shifts safely. When employers fail to follow requirements, OSHA will hold them responsible to the fullest extent of the law.”  

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their 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.