OSHA Hammers Cleveland Roofing Contractor for Fall Hazards

The citation for a willful violation, carrying $61,600 in penalties, was issued after inspectors observed employees working without fall protection on a commercial roof at a height of nearly 32 feet.

OSHA has issued T & F Systems Inc. of Cleveland three citations, including one involving a willful violation, for failing to provide roofers working on commercial projects with fall protection. The contractor faces penalties totaling $66,220.

The citations are the result of an OSHA investigation conducted in December 2010 at a jobsite in Cleveland. The citation for a willful violation, carrying $61,600 in penalties, was issued after inspectors observed employees working without fall protection on a commercial roof at a height of nearly 32 feet.

"Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their workplaces and ensuring that workers are not exposed to risks that could result in injury or death."

OSHA also issued T & F Systems two citations for serious violations, with a proposed fine of $4,620, for failing to ensure that framed step ladders were used in the manner in which they were intended and to protect flexible electrical cords from damage.

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. Information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

Prior to the inspection detailed above, T & F Systems had been issued citations by OSHA for fall related hazards on five occasions since 1998, including following a fatality at a jobsite in Cleveland in 2008 and a willful citation in 2010.

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