Illinois Roofing Firm Fined $102,000 for Fall Protection Hazards

The company's willful and repeat safety violations put McEntire's Roofing in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA has issued McEntire's Roofing Inc. of Lincoln, Ill., six citations for failing to provide fall protection for roofers working on residential projects. The company faces penalties totaling $102,000.

The citations are the result of two OSHA investigations, conducted under the agency's Local Emphasis Program on Fall Hazards, which took place in July and September 2010 at jobsites in Bloomington and Lincoln, Ill. Two willful citations carrying $56,000 in penalties were issued after inspectors observed roofers being allowed to operate without fall protection at two-story residential projects. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

"Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the workplace," said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria, Ill. "McEntire's Roofing repeatedly has been cited for not providing adequate fall protection and that is unacceptable. OSHA is committed to ensuring employers abide by the law, which requires commonsense safety practices."

OSHA issued McEntire's Roofing two repeat citations with proposed fines of $42,000 for allegedly not having a grasping handle and/or a ladder extended 3 feet or more above the roofline for workers to access in order to prevent falls. A repeat citation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Two serious citations were issued to the company alleging that a damaged ladder was used to access an upper roof area and for failing to have a ladder inspected by a competent person. Those violations carry total penalties of $4,000. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform residential construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

The company's willful and repeat safety violations put McEntire's Roofing in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on employers with a history of safety violations that endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law. This enforcement tool includes mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections and inspections of other worksites of the same employer where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present. For more information on SVEP, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/svep-directive.pdf*.

Prior to the two inspections detailed above, McEntire's Roofing had been inspected by OSHA six times since 2005, resulting in 15 prior citations.

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