April 10, 2015
Southbury, Connecticut residential home builder exposes workers
to potentially fatal fall hazards
OSHA proposes $52,360 in fines for Rock Hard Homes, Inc.
Employer name: Rock Hard Homes, Inc., residential home builder, Southbury, CT
Inspection site: 13 Pembroke Road, Danbury, CT 06811
Date inspection initiated: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bridgeport Area Office began an inspection on Nov. 7, 2014, after OSHA inspectors driving by the worksite observed fall protection hazards and immediately opened an inspection.
Investigation findings: Rock Hard Homes, Inc., was cited by OSHA for four repeat and one serious violation of workplace fall safety standards. These include: failure to equip employees with an adequate fall protection system while they worked on a pitched roof approximately 28 feet above the ground; allowing employees to walk and work on surfaces without fall protection and exposing them to falls through holes, including skylights; improperly using portable ladders to access upper landings in which the ladders did not extend beyond the landings by the required three feet; and use of defective equipment.
Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, with 294 fatalities in the nation and 5 in Connecticut in the most recent figures from 2013. To help combat this deadly trend, OSHA is hosting a National Safety Stand-Down from May 4 to 15 in which employers will talk to their employees about safety practices and procedures on the job sites.
The repeat citations stem from this employer's history of similar fall protection violations cited by OSHA in August 2011 in Brookfield, CT, as well as May and June of 2013 in Norwalk, CT.
Proposed Penalties: $52,360.
Quote: "While an accident did not prompt this inspection, the penalties proposed in this case demonstrate the severe nature of the cited hazards and the employer's lack of concern for its workers," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA area director in Bridgeport. "Fall hazards can and should be prevented through the use of proper equipment, training and safeguards for workers."
Next Steps: Rock Hard Homes, Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Bridgeport Area Office at 203-579-5581.
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Release Number: 15-577-BOS
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