New England Roofer Faces $117,000 in Fines for Fall Hazards

A Milford, Mass.-based roofing contractor with a history of fall protection violations again has been cited by OSHA for fall hazards, this time at a residential construction site in Norwich, Conn. Alex General Construction Inc. was cited for 11 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following an inspection that began Nov. 19, 2007, when an OSHA inspector observed Alex employees working without fall protection on a steep-pitched roof 24 feet above the ground.

"The sizable fines proposed in this case reflect both the seriousness and the recurrence of this potentially deadly and disabling hazard," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford, Conn. "This employer's repeated failure to ensure a basic safeguard leaves employees exposed to falls, the number one killer in construction work."

OSHA has issued the company four repeat citations, carrying $85,000 in proposed penalties, for lack of fall protection and inadequate fall protection training for employees working on a 24-foot-high roof, extension ladders that did not extend at least 3 feet above their landing surface, and placement of an aluminum extension ladder within 18 inches of an energized power cable. The agency cited the company in July and September 2006 for similar hazards at worksites in Providence and Johnston, R.I.

An additional $32,000 in fines has been proposed for seven serious citations addressing lack of protection against falling objects, an improperly erected ladder jack scaffold, no fall protection for employees working on the scaffold, use of a damaged extension ladder, no ladder safety training, and improper ladder use. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, OSHA notes.

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