Home Improvement Company Fined for Exposing Workers to Potentially Fatal Fall Hazards

Kevin Burke Home Improvement faces more than $56,000 in proposed penalties for violations at its Lackawanna, N.Y., work site.

OSHA announced it has cited Kevin Burke Home Improvement for repeatedly exposing its employees to potentially fatal falls of 20 feet or more at a Lackawanna, N.Y., work site. The home improvement business based in Hamburg, N.Y., was cited for five serious and two willful safety violations, with total proposed penalties of $56,400.

OSHA inspectors saw employees working on a roof and on a scaffold without fall protection. They then instructed the employer to ensure that all workers used fall protection before continuing work. When an OSHA inspector returned the next day, he found the equipment was not being used. Because of this, OSHA cited Kevin Burke Home Improvement for two willful violations of fall protection requirements, with $44,000 in fines.

OSHA also cited the contractor for five serious violations, with $12,400 in fines, for not providing required hard hats to workers to protect them against head injuries from falling debris and for overloading a scaffold and failing to provide proper fall protection equipment.

"Falls are the number one killer in construction work. To raise awareness of fall hazards and safeguards, OSHA has created an ongoing fall prevention campaign aimed at educating workers, employers and the public about how employers must plan work safely, provide their employees with proper effective fall protection equipment, and train their employees to recognize fall hazards before they occur," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator for New York.

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