Roofing Fatality Leads to Willful Citation against Contractor

OSHA has cited Southern Certified, a roofing contractor based in Pompano Beach, Fla., for nine safety violations following the death of an employee who fell about 30 feet while working on a roof without fall protection. The agency began its inspection in September 2008 and is proposing one willful citation against management for allowing employees to continue working on the same roof without fall protection after the fatality. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Eight serious violations include management's failure to provide a warning line system around the entire perimeter of the roof, failure to provide a path of access to the hoisting area, improper use of ladders, lack of a written hazard communication program for chemicals, lack of a site specific hazard identification program and worksite analysis, and lack of employee training.

"Having experienced a fatality at this site, Southern Certified management's failure to take precautions with other employees is irresponsible. That is precisely why OSHA is issuing the willful citation," said Darlene Fossum, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

For the nine citations, OSHA is proposing $54,100 in penalties--$49,000 for the willful violation and $5,100 for the serious violations--against the company. Southern Certified has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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