$139,260 in Fines Issued to Contractor for Scaffolding, Fall Hazards

OSHA found employees exposed to falls ranging from 20 to 33 feet while working on the building's roof, a roof bracket scaffold, a ladderjack scaffold, and ladders.

OSHA has cited Total Remodeling Services LLC for 16 alleged violations of workplace safety standards following OSHA's inspection of a residential roofing site in Bridgeport, Conn. The Shelton contractor faces a total of $139,260 in proposed fines, chiefly for fall, scaffolding, and ladder hazards.

"The sizable fines proposed here reflect both the gravity of these hazards and the recurring nature of several of them," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "Falls are the leading killer in construction work, and can happen swiftly and without warning. For the safety of its workers, the employer must ensure that effective safeguards are in place on all job sites at all times."

OSHA found employees exposed to falls ranging from 20 to 33 feet while working on the building's roof, a roof bracket scaffold, a ladderjack scaffold, and ladders. Specifically, employees on the roof and roof bracket scaffold lacked fall protection and were not trained to recognize and address fall hazards. A 32-foot extension ladder was damaged, set up improperly, unsecured against displacement, and had not been inspected by a competent person prior to use. In addition, workers were observed carrying bundles of shingles and other materials onto the scaffolds, which could have caused them to lose their balance and fall, and they were not trained in ladder hazards and safeguards. OSHA had cited Total Remodeling Services in 2009 and 2010 for similar hazards at worksites in Bridgeport and Milford. As a result of these latest conditions, seven repeat violations were cited with $102,300 in proposed fines.

The Bridgeport inspection identified additional hazards, including a lack of fall protection and training for employees working on the ladderjack scaffold, no safe and adequate means to access the scaffolds, an unsecured access ladder set up on a pile of debris, unsecured ladders used as part of the ladderjack scaffold, and failure to keep the work area free of construction debris. These conditions resulted in nine serious violations cited with $36,960 in fines.

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