Federal workplace safety inspectors have discovered a contractor failing to safeguard employees during residential roof work, neglecting to provide essential fall protection equipment and training. This negligence exposes workers to one of the construction industry’s deadliest hazards: falls from elevation.

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Company Cited Second Time Since 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 379 out of 1,015 fatal on-the-job injuries among construction workers in 2021.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a roofing contractor for four repeat violations and proposed fines totaling $281,485. Inspectors from OSHA observed three workers employed by the contractor with another employee using a leaf blower on its roof – all without any form of fall protection on July 7, 2023, despite the significant risks of disabling or fatal injuries.

OSHA’s Response

“Far too often, OSHA inspectors find roofing contractors disregarding federal safety regulations, endangering workers’ lives and well-being,” explained OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Wisconsin. The contractor “must take his legal responsibilities seriously and prioritize the safety of his employees before someone is seriously injured or worse.”

OSHA cited the contractor for four repeat violations and proposed fines totaling $281,485. These violations include failure to provide fall protection equipment or proper training, misuse of ladders, and neglect to train workers on fall and ladder hazards. Notably, the contractor had been cited for similar violations in October 2022 but failed to respond to the citations.

“Fall hazards make residential construction work one of the nation’s most perilous occupations,” emphasized Bonack. “Every employer is legally obligated to provide a safe workplace. For roofing workers, having the right safety equipment and training to identify hazards and follow safety protocols can mean the difference between life and death.”

Small and midsize business owners in the construction industry must prioritize compliance with safety regulations to protect their employees and avoid hefty fines. Neglecting to provide adequate fall protection measures not only endangers workers’ lives but also exposes businesses to severe legal and financial consequences. Upholding workplace safety standards is paramount for ensuring the well-being of employees and the success of any business operation.

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