March 5, 2015
Jasper Contractors continues to put roofing workers' lives in jeopardy
Company disregards serious risks, numerous violations; faces more than $186K in penalties
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Since 2013, 294 workers have been killed by falls: a deadly fact that one roofing contractor appears willing to ignore as it was found putting the safety of its employees at risk by U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health inspectors once again.
Roofing workers wearing proper fall protection systems
In its two most recent inspections in August and December 2014, workers of Jasper Contractors were seen atop roofs at jobsites on Heather Grove Lane in Jacksonville and Shelley Drive in Green Cove Springs without fall protection by OSHA inspectors. The Jacksonville contractor received seven citations for safety violations, the latest in its history of exposing its workers to fall hazards. Proposed penalties total $186,200.
"Jasper Contractors has violated fall protection and safe ladder usage rules numerous times, yet we still find workers exposed to preventable danger," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "We will continue to cite violations and issue penalties when employers fail in their responsibility to protect workers."
Since 2009, the company has been inspected by OSHA 13 times and received multiple citations for repeated and serious violations of residential fall protection standards. In August and December 2014, OSHA issued two willful citations to Jasper Contractors for allowing employees to perform roofing work at heights of 11 and 13 feet without fall protection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Falls are a leading cause of death for those in the trade. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that many fatal falls could have been prevented with proper safety protections.
Repeated violations were issued for not ensuring that workers on the ground wore head protection while cleaning up roofing debris thrown off the roof; not wearing eye protection, which exposed employees to eye injuries from flying debris or nails; and allowing workers to climb a 24-foot ladder while carrying a load in their hands, exposing them to fall hazards.
A repeated violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company received citations for similar violations in 2012 and 2013 at jobsites in Colorado and Florida.
Two serious violations also were cited for failing to extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface and placing a ladder at an unsafe angle. Both violations exposed workers to fall hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The current citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JasperContractors_992409_0225_2015.pdf* http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JasperContractors_1011179_0225_2015.pdf*
To increase awareness of fall prevention, ensure compliance and target enforcement activities to reduce injuries and fatalities, OSHA has created a Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction*.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jasper Contractors is a nationwide contractor that specializes in residential, commercial and metal roofing. The company employs approximately 74 workers nationwide.
Jasper Contractors has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.
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 Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.
Release Number: 15-215-ATL(62)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.