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Feds Fine Cresskill Landscaper $17K After Carbon Monoxide Kills 2 Workers

Police found two AJR Landscaping Inc. workers overcome by fumes from a running lawnmower with them in a closed trailer in Washington Township around 8 a.m. last December.
Police found two AJR Landscaping Inc. workers overcome by fumes from a running lawnmower with them in a closed trailer in Washington Township around 8 a.m. last December. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving

A Cresskill landscaper was fined more than $17,000 by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing employees to carbon monoxide -- killing two of them.

Police found two AJR Landscaping Inc. workers overcome by fumes from a running lawnmower with them in a closed trailer in Washington Township around 8 a.m. last December.

The West New York landscapers were found unresponsive and not breathing on the ground at the  17-acre Washington Pond condominium complex off Pascack Road and Linwood Avenue.

CPR was conducted on both at the scene before they were rushed to The Valley Hospital.

"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, who is based in Hasbrouck Heights.

"This tragedy was preventable if the employer had adhered to basic safety and health practices."

AJR Landscaping Inc. faces  $17,051 in fines for exposing employees to carbon monoxide and failing to train employees to recognize the hazard.

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