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Roofer Gets 4th OSHA Case in 4 Years

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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A Massachusetts roofing contractor faces $43,560 in federal fines for allegedly exposing employees to potentially fatal falls—its fourth such case in four years.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited William Trahant Jr. Construction Inc. of Lynn, MA, with one willful, one repeat and three serious violations, the agency announced Feb. 25.

fall protection
Photos: OSHA

OSHA has fined Trahant Construction four times in four years. The company continues to expose workers to deadly or disabling injuries, the authorities say.

OSHA previously cited the company for similar violations in August 2014, September 2012 and July 2011.

A call made to a phone number listed for Trahant Construction was not answered Monday (March 9), and the company does not have a website. The company has contested the current OSHA case, according to an OSHA spokesman.

‘Wanton Disregard for Safety’

"Trahant Construction continues to demonstrate a wanton disregard for employee safety, exposing its employees to deadly or disabling injuries on multiple occasions," said Anthony Covello, OSHA's acting area director in Andover.

"Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. This employer must take steps to effectively train and enforce a culture of safety for himself and his employees."

Willful, Repeat Violations

The current citations stem from an inspection conducted in October in Salem.

Responding to a complaint, inspectors said they had observed employees repairing asphalt shingle roofing on a three-story residential structure without adequate fall protection.

Fall protection is required for individuals working at six feet or more.

OSHA

OSHA offers detailed guidance on fall protection in residential construction.

The citation, classified as willful, carried a $30,800 fine. Willful violations are OSHA's highest level of infraction.

OSHA also issued a repeat violation, alleging lack of fall protection training. The repeat violation carries a proposed penalty of $4,400.

Serious Violations

The agency also issued three serious citations, alleging failure to:

  • Withdraw from service a damaged ladder with split rails and bent rungs;
  • Adequately anchor fall arrest lines; and
  • Protect employees on the ground from falling objects.

Those violations carry proposed penalties ranging from $2,200 to $3,080.

3 Earlier Cases

Most recently, the company was cited in August 2014 for fall protection hazards at a worksite in Revere, MA.

The agency issued a total of $22,000 fines for two repeat and one other-than-serious citation.

That case remains open, according to OSHA’s database.

Trahant Construction was also issued a repeat citation, carrying an initial penalty of $5,600, in September 2012.

The fine in that case was reduced to $2,800 through a formal settlement.

OSHA also cited the company in July 2011 for two serious violations that included lack of fall protection and fall protection training. That settlement was negotiated to $4,200 from $126,000.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Enforcement; Ethics; Fall protection; Hazards; Health and safety; OSHA

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