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Region 4


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Oct. 16, 2014

Chris Sawdo Construction cited by OSHA for failing to protect workers
from fall hazards while performing residential construction
Company has been cited 3 times since 2011

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Chris Sawdo Construction LLC, in Middleburg, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for one willful and three serious safety violations for exposing workers to fall hazards. The inspection was initiated in May 2014 when OSHA officials observed that employees doing roofing work at a residence on South Twin Maple Road in St. Augustine were working without fall protection. Penalties total $60,500.

"Although this employer has been cited three times since 2011 for fall protection violations, it continues to expose employees to serious injury or death by failing to ensure that workers are wearing fall protection that is anchored properly," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "The employer has previously signed and agreed to comply with OSHA standards, but has yet to establish a safety and health program that protects its workers."

OSHA cited the employer for a willful violation for allowing workers to wear unanchored safety harnesses while installing roof sheathing at heights of up to 18 feet. 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.

The citations for serious violations were issued for failure to provide stairs or a ladder for access between elevations, to set up a roof access ladder properly and to remove a damaged ladder from service. 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.

Chris Sawdo Construction has been inspected by OSHA five times since 2004 for similar fall hazards at work sites in Jacksonville and Orange Park.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Florida* accounted for 234 of the 4,405 fatal work injuries reported nationally in 2013. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov/.

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.

The residential framing contractor has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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Media Contacts:

Michael D'Aquino, 678-237-0630, d'aquino.michael@dol.gov
Lindsay Williams, 678-237-0630, williams.lindsay.l@dol.gov

Release Number: 14-1709-ATL (288)


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