DOL, OSHA Cite Construction Firm Following 16-Year-Old's Fall at Worksite

The Labor Department has assessed civil money penalties of $30,350 for allowing a minor to operate a hoisting device and perform roofing work in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions.

The U.S. Department of Labor has cited Waymar Construction LLC in Shelby, Ohio, for child labor and safety violations after a 16-year-old worker suffered cranial trauma and fractures from falling off a scissor lift during roofing operations at a Sandusky job site on May 23.

The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division has assessed civil money penalties of $30,350 for allowing a minor to operate a hoisting device and perform roofing work in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions.

"It is unacceptable to put minors at risk by employing them to perform hazardous tasks," said George Victory, district director of the Wage and Hour Division in Columbus. "Ensuring the health and safety of young workers is a priority for the Labor Department. Employers that fail to follow this law can face severe penalties."

The division found that Waymar Construction violated the FLSA's child labor standards by employing a worker less than 18 years old to perform hazardous jobs prohibited by the act. The FLSA establishes a minimum age of 18 for certain nonagricultural occupations that the secretary of labor finds and declares to be particularly hazardous for, or detrimental to the health and well-being of, 16- and 17-year-old workers.

Waymar Construction also was found to be in violation of the overtime provisions of the FLSA, for paying workers "straight time" wages for hours worked over 40 in a week. The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses, and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week.

Additionally, OSHA cited the company for one willful safety violation for failing to ensure workers were protected from fall hazards and one serious safety violation for failing to provide fall protection training. Proposed penalties for these violations total $20,020.

"Failing to provide fall protection for any employee is unacceptable and a clear violation of OSHA safety standards," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "OSHA is committed to protecting the welfare of our nation's workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

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