An Amityville athletic-field design company is facing a nearly $200,000 fine over alleged safety violations at a New Jersey excavation site in June, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday.
The LandTek Group Inc. could be fined $197,752 for nine citations.
The citations are related to a 10-foot-deep excavation site at Verona High School in Verona, New Jersey. An investigation by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that the company allegedly allowed employees to work at the site with “no protective systems in place.”
LandTek said in a statement that it only recently received notification of the citations from OSHA and that it has requested a meeting. It stressed that it considers safety for its workers paramount.
“The LandTek Group has safely completed thousands of construction projects,” the company said. “At LandTek the safety of all employees and all sites is a top priority.”
LandTek has 15 business days from the time it receives OSHA’s citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference or contest the findings.
The investigation, which the Labor Department said was prompted by a complaint, found that the company failed to do such things as “have a competent person inspect the excavation,” “train employees on safely performing their job duties and the hazards associated with them” and “provide mechanical retrieval equipment in case of an emergency.”
“Without needed protections in place, an excavation can quickly become a grave as thousands of pounds of soil collapse upon workers below ground,” Kris Hoffman, the director of OSHA’s Parsippany area office, said in the Labor Department news release.
OSHA said one of the violations was “willful” and the others were “serious.” The “willful” citation resulted from the company “exposing workers to cave-in hazards because the excavation lacked proper cave-in protection or safeguards.”
LandTek has done projects at Citi Field in Queens and for numerous colleges. It specializes in athletic field construction and maintenance. Its work includes building construction, excavation and road improvements.