Feb. 24, 2016
Lack of fall protection led to roofer's death in fall at Cincinnati work site
OSHA issues 15 citations to R&B Contractors for safety lapses, employer faces $117K in fines
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The life of a 53-year-old roofer who died after dropping 40 feet to the ground could have been saved if his employer had provided proper fall protection, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found.
OSHA cited R&B Contractors LLC of Shandon for one willful, 11 serious and three other-than-serious safety citations on Feb. 9, after the agency's investigation into the man's death at a commercial building site in Cincinnati on Aug. 10, 2015.
"Four of 10 fatalities in the construction industry in 2014 were the result of a deadly fall," said Ken Montgomery, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "Falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers and can be prevented with proper fall protection. Yet another worker has died needlessly because his employer failed to protect his safety. This has to stop."
OSHA investigators found the worker was installing a new commercial roof when he fell. No guardrails, safety nets or personal fall prevention devices were in place at the time. In addition, OSHA determined R&B failed to:
- Train workers about fall hazards.
- Develop a safety and health program.
- Designate a safety monitor.
- Train powered industrial vehicle operators.
- Record injuries and illnesses.
R&B faces proposed penalties of $116,900. View citations here.
As the construction industry continues to grow, falls continue to be the leading cause of death. Source: http://www.bls.gov.
To inform construction employers and workers, OSHA offers a Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The site provides fact sheets, posters and videos on various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. OSHA requires employers to provide an effective form of fall protection when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
The agency's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. Begun in 2012, the campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use gear properly.
R&B Contractors has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Cincinnati area office at 513-841-4132.
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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Release Number: 16-274-CHI
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