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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.