OSHA Inspectors Spot Workers in 'Clear and Present Danger'

The roofing contractor has a history of similar violations and faces $72,800 in fines, according to the agency.

OSHA inspectors were driving back to their Providence office after completing an inspection when they saw two men on a ladder-jack scaffold without guardrails and no protective gear to keep them from falling 16 feet to the ground. The inspectors proceeded to pull over and begin another inspection.

"This was a clear and present danger. These employees could have fallen at any time and been killed or disabled. Ivan Paredes knew of this hazard but chose to ignore it and his legal responsibility to protect his employees," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's area director for Rhode Island.

The two men were working for Ivan Paredes, a Brockton, Mass., roofing contractor. OSHA cited him for a willful violation of worker safety standards, as well as a serious violation.

"Fortunately, most employers know and obey the law. Many of them will show their commitment to worker safety during the National Safety Stand-Down from May 4-15. We encourage Rhode Island employers to join others across the country in this voluntary but vital effort. A modest investment of time and resources could prevent a needless tragedy," said Griffin.

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