Two North Dakota Companies Cited After Serious Fall Injury

OSHA has asked all employers to commit to fall safety in its annual May campaign.

Two Bismarck, N.D., companies have been cited by federal safety inspectors for failing to protect workers from fall hazards of up to 18 feet at a construction site. After reports that a worker suffered serious injuries when he fell about 20 feet while using a blowtorch to thaw roofing materials, inspectors observed four employees working without fall protection systems in place the following day.

"It is disappointing that the day following a serious fall injury, that L & L Brendel would fail to ensure its workers were using adequate fall protection to prevent further injuries at this site," said Eric Brooks, OSHA's area director in Bismarck. "Falls remain the leading cause of preventable death in the construction industry, accounting for 40 percent of construction fatalities last year. All employees working at a height greater than 6 feet must use lifesaving fall protection equipment."

As a result, OSHA issued L & L Brendel Construction LLC two willful safety violations for exposing workers to falls of 11-18 feet and failing to train employees on fall hazards, and Front Street Millwork & Lumber was issued one serious violation.

OSHA's annual National Safety Stand-Down is taking place May 2-6 and is intended to help employers, unions, and workers nationwide re-commit to understanding and using fall safety protection to avoid serious injuries and fatalities.

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