Ohio Roofing Contractor Continues to Defy Federal Safety Requirements for Fall Protection
The contractor was cited six times in five years for ignoring the industry’s deadliest hazard.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Sep 23, 2021
An Orwell, Ohio roofing contractor continues to put himself and his coworkers at risk of injury by defying federal requirements to use fall protection and have PPE available on job sites, a recent inspection found. On April 20, OSHA inspectors found Neal Weaver and an employee of his roofing company, Grand Valley Carpentry LLC, working without fall protection on a residential roof nearly 20 feet off the ground.
OSHA cited Weaver. In the past, he has not cooperated with federal safety inspectors under a previous company name, Dutch Heritage LLC, for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards for the sixth time in five years. The agency issued two willful violations and proposed $253,556 in penalties. Inspectors also discovered the crew was not wearing proper eye protection while working.
"Too often OSHA inspectors find employees working on residential roofs without fall protection and discover their employer has the safety equipment on-site and refuses to ensure its use," explained OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. "Fall hazards make roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction. Employers must ensure that employees working from heights greater than 6 feet are provided fall protection equipment, and that they train workers to use the equipment safely."
In December 2016, August and September of 2018, November and December of 2019, OSHA cited Dutch Heritage for similar hazards. Weaver has not responded to the citation, provided abatement or paid penalties, according to a press release. OSHA refers to his unpaid penalties as a debt collection. Weaver changed his company name to Grand Valley Carpentry in December 2019.
In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 1,061 construction workers died on the job, 401 were from falls from elevation. In 2020, fall protection was the most frequently cited standard by OSHA during construction-industry inspections. OSHA’s Stop Falls website offers safety information and video presentations in both English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and safety procedures.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.