US Department of Labor's OSHA cites roofing contractor KG Framing
and Construction for lack of fall protection at St. Louis job site
Company placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program
ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited roofing contractor KG Framing and Construction LLC with 12 safety violations, including one willful and three repeat, for failing to provide roofers with protection from falls at a commercial shopping site in Maryland Heights. Proposed fines total $121,480. The company has now been cited six times for this violation.
"KG Framing and Construction has been repeatedly cited for violations of fall protection standards, which puts roofers at risk of serious or fatal injuries. Each inspection with these findings is particularly disheartening because we encountered workers with limited English proficiency, who may be at increased risk for not understanding safety rules and procedures," said William McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and companies must take responsibility for protecting their workers on the job and ensuring workers are properly trained and understand how to use safety equipment. Allowing vulnerable workers to be exposed to high risk is unacceptable."
The inspection was initiated on Oct. 12, 2012, after an OSHA inspector observed roofers on a pitched roof at a height greater than 14 feet without personal fall arrest systems. Other workers were wearing harnesses that were not properly attached to them or on anchor points. A willful citation was issued due to the company's failure to ensure all workers were provided fall protection and, when provided, allowing improper use when worn. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Three repeat violations involve allowing workers to use pneumatic nail guns without any form of eye or face protection, a lack of fall protection training and failing to extend ladders at least 3 feet above the landing surface. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2010 and 2011 at four construction sites in the St. Louis metropolitan area. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
Eight serious violations involve lack of hard hats, conducting regular inspections and providing guarding on power-transmission apparatus. Five of the serious violations involve ladder standards, such as allowing workers to use ladders with structural defects, carrying objects while on a ladder and risking losing balance and placing unsecured ladders in areas where they could be displaced. 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/KG_Framing_and_Construction_710538_04112013.pdf*
Because of the hazards and the violations cited, KG Framing and Construction has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. OSHA's SVEP focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
This inspection was the sixth for KG Framing and Construction in the past six years. The company made no attempt to resolve the first findings in the three inspections, and penalties were sent to debt collection. The company contested two inspections from 2011 that were affirmed by a final order in December 2012.
The company 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 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 St. Louis Area Office at 314-425-4249.
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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.