OSHA fines Ohio contractor for fall violations

ConDig (04-Aug–21).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined a Millersburg, Ohio-based contractor and its owner $136,453 for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards for the sixth time in three years.

The agency said inspectors observed roofers employed by JMH Roofing LLC working up to 24 feet off the ground on a worksite in April. 

OSHA issued two willful, two repeat and two serious violations as the agency requires the use of fall protection at heights greater than 6 feet.

OSHA inspectors also found the five-person crew working without required eye, face or head protection. Inspectors determined JMH Roofing lacked an effective safety and health program and failed to audit work sites for safety hazards and ensure compliance.

“Fall hazards make roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction. Yet too often, OSHA inspectors respond to reports of workers without protective gear and find safety equipment on-site but not in use,” said OSHA area director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “When an employer requires employees to work from heights, they must provide fall protection and appropriate equipment, and train workers to use the equipment safely.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 1,061 construction workers died on the job in 2019, 401 of them in falls from elevation. In fiscal year 2020, fall protection in construction was the standard most frequently cited by OSHA inspectors.

In June, OSHA fined a Bronx-based scaffolding company $300,370 after a 21-year-old laborer fell to his death during construction of a seven-story building in Brooklyn, New York.

The month prior, OSHA fined two Michigan-based contractors after a demolition collapse of a power plant killed two workers.

OSHA fined a Florida-based framing and sheathing contractor $61,575 in April for repeat fall violations on a project in the Jacksonville area.

In March, OSHA fined a Cleveland-based contractor $73,533 after a 14-year-old boy working on a roof without required fall protection suffered critical injuries when he fell 20-feet to the ground.

In February, OSHA fined a Missouri-based plumbing contractor $299,590 for two repeated violations of trenching standards. 

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