Roofer Cited for Fall Hazards Ranging from 16 Feet to Three Stories

OSHA has proposed a total of $91,000 in fines against Summer and Winter Construction LLC, a Pittsfield, N.H.-based roofing contractor, for alleged fall hazards at worksites in Hanover and Manchester, N.H. The agency opened inspections at the two sites after its inspectors observed the company's employees performing roofing work without fall protection at both locations. The inspections found workers exposed to falls ranging from 16 feet at the Manchester site to three stories at the Hanover site. OSHA previously had cited the contractor in November 2006 for fall hazards at a worksite in Concord, N.H.

"The sizable fines we've proposed reflect the serious and recurring nature of these fall hazards," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "Improperly utilized fall protection equipment is just as deadly as failing to use fall protection at all. Workers who lack adequate and effective fall protection are just one slip, trip or misstep away from a potentially fatal plunge."

As a result of its inspections, OSHA has issued Summer and Winter one willful citation, with a proposed fine of $70,000, for allowing employees at the Hanover site to work atop a roof without fall protection and with improperly rigged lifelines and improper equipment; and two repeat citations, with $8,000 in fines, for lack of fall protection at the Manchester site and an extension ladder that did not provide safe access to the roof at the Hanover site.

The contractor also has been issued eight serious citations, with $13,000 in fines, for lack of fall protection training, improperly worn body harnesses, an ungrounded power saw, no safety glasses for employees using nail guns in Manchester, two employees tied off to a single anchorage point, a defective ladder, employees working beneath the suspended load of an unattended fork truck, and riding without seatbelts in the back of a pickup truck in Hanover.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA or contest the finding before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.

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