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OSHA Hits Roofer 5th Time in 3 Years

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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A roofing contractor already in arrears to federal authorities for more than $110,000 in fines is now facing new violations and a hefty new penalty.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited  cited Juan Manuel Antonio-Martinez for three willful safety violations—its highest level of infraction—for fall hazards March 26 and April 9 at two residential home sites.

At both sites, workers were working on the roof without any required fall protection.

Roofing
OSHA

OSHA offers detailed guidance on Fall Protection in Residential Construction.

The case is the fifth by OSHA against the company in three years. OSHA said the company has not cooperated on previous inspections and has not paid any of the $110,880 in total penalties assessed from those inspections.

'Inexcusable'

"Antonio-Martinez failed to acknowledge OSHA's presence at the work site or address ways to abate hazards," OSHA area director Thomas Bielema said in a release.

"Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Allowing these types of hazards without fall protection is inexcusable. This employer's choice to ignore OSHA's common-sense safety regulations demonstrates a complete disregard for employee safety."

The Violations

Antonio-Martinez was cited for one willful violation at each location for failure to provide fall protection. Each carries a $30,800 penalty.

A third willful violation was cited when the inspector saw workers exiting the roof on an extension ladder that  extended only one foot above the roof line.

OSHA roofing standards
Wikipedia

Failure to provide harnesses and other fall protection is one of OSHA's most frequently violated construction standards.

OSHA regulations require that ladders extend three feet over the landing surface for safe access. That violation carries a $24,200 penalty.

The citations are available here and here.

The roofing contractor was cited for similar violations in 2011, 2012 and 2013 at work sites in Paris, IL, Champaign,IL, and Mahomet, IL, according to OSHA.

Falls in Construction

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and fall-protection hazards are the most commonly cited violations by OSHA. (OSHA also offers specific guidance on Fall Protection in Residential Construction.)

In June, a weeklong national Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction was aimed at raising awreness of the problem.

   

Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA; Residential Construction; Roofing contractors

Comment from M. Halliwell, (8/26/2014, 11:13 AM)

Hmmm...5 times in 3 years and non-payment of past fines. Sounding to me like this is one who may not be the best companies to be in the business. Other than fines (which it looks like they won't bother to pay), what other action can OSHA take? Snap inspections and stop work orders at all their sites? I'd hate to think we'll need to wait for someone to be killed or seriously injured at one of their sites before more can be done (and when, not if, it happens, I sure hope they lay criminal charges against the corporate officers and foremen).


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