$200,000 in Fines Issued to Alabama Firm for Fall Hazards

In November 2010, OSHA began its inspection at a work site in Pinson as part of a regional emphasis program focused on fall hazards. Inspectors observed workers being exposed to fall hazards while installing a canopy at a new gas station.

OSHA has cited Chapman Canopy Inc. with 12 safety violations, chiefly for exposing workers to fall hazards while installing canopies in Pinson, Albertville, and Tuscaloosa, Ala. Proposed penalties total $202,040.

In November 2010, OSHA began its inspection at a work site in Pinson as part of a regional emphasis program focused on fall hazards. Inspectors observed workers being exposed to fall hazards while installing a canopy at a new gas station. Later inspections were conducted at job sites in Albertville and Tuscaloosa, which revealed similar fall hazards.

At the Pinson site, five repeat violations with $96,400 in penalties were cited for exposing workers to overhead hazards by failing to ensure head protection was worn, failing to fully plank the scaffold platform, failing to have fall protection for employees working from a scaffold, using the top step of a ladder to gain access to the top of the scaffolding, and not having a safe entry and exit to the upper level of the canopy. Chapman Canopy was most recently cited in August 2009 for similar violations at a Madison location.

One serious and two repeat safety violations were cited at the Albertville site with $81,220 in penalties for failing to provide a fully planked scaffold platform, exposing workers to fall hazards and not extending the ladder 3 feet above the top of the canopy to prevent falling during transition from the ladder to the canopy.

One serious and three repeat safety violations were cited at the Tuscaloosa site with $24,420 in penalties for exposing workers to overhead hazards by failing to ensure head protection was worn, failing to properly plank the scaffold platform, using the top step of a ladder to gain access to the top of the scaffolding, and not using an appropriate personal fall protection system that would prevent the worker from making contact with a lower level.

"Chapman Canopy's refusal to implement proper fall protections reflects a careless approach to workplace safety, leaving workers at risk of serious injury and possible death," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "This company needs to take immediate steps to eliminate these hazards."

Chapman Canopy manufactures and installs canopies used at convenience stores and gas stations. It conducts business in the Southeast, mainly in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, with headquarters in Hueytown, Ala.

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