Fall, Scaffold, Ladder, Related Hazards Add Up to $79,000 Fine for Roofer

OSHA has cited a North Reading, Mass., roofing contractor for 16 alleged violations of safety and health standards. Duval Roofing LLC faces a total of $79,000 in proposed fines for fall, scaffold, ladder, and other hazards identified at a residential construction site in Woburn, Mass. The agency's inspection found employees working on a two-story roof without fall protection and accessing the roof and scaffolding on ladders that did not extend at least three feet above the upper landing surface. As a result, OSHA issued the company two willful citations--defined as violations committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health--carrying $56,000 in proposed fines, for those conditions.

"It takes only one slip or misstep to turn a construction site into an accident scene," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "That's why it is imperative that employers supply effective fall protection where required so their workers are protected against potentially deadly or disabling falls."

OSHA also issued the company 14 serious citations, with $23,000 in fines, for a variety of scaffold hazards involving improper construction, lack of fall protection, lack of scaffold training, an overloaded scaffold, and locating a scaffold too close to an energized power line; fall hazards from ladders not used at a proper angle, unsecured ladders, a defective ladder, and areas not kept clear around tops and bottoms of ladders; and lack of head, eye, and face protection for employees exposed to overhead hazards. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

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