US Department of Labor's OSHA fines Five Star Commercial Roofing $49,000 for
exposing workers to dangerous fall hazards in Bartonville, Ill.
Last year, nearly 300 workers were fatally injured in construction-related falls nationwide
BARTONVILLE, Ill. – Five Star Commercial Roofing Inc. has been cited for a willful safety violation after exposing workers to fall hazards of 29 feet at a commercial roofing project in Bartonville. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found workers exposed during a March 3 investigation and proposed civil penalties of $49,000.
The exposure came as workers installed roofing materials on a commercial sales and service building. Last year, nearly 300 workers were fatally injured in construction-related falls nationwide. Since 2009, the Hartford City, Ind.-based company has been cited by OSHA five times in Illinois, Ohio and Indiana for similar violations.
"Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Allowing construction workers on roofs without fall protection is inexcusable," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "OSHA has previously provided Five Star Commercial Roofing with safety information, examples of safety and health programs, training and other information to assist them in abating these safety issues and protecting their workers. Yet the employer failed to ensure that workers were protected."
Roofers at the Bartonville site were working on a roof 29 feet high without the recommended means of fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest, directly violating OSHA's construction safety standards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
OSHA has created a Stop Falls 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. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
Additionally, OSHA will have a National Safety Stand-Down from June 2-6 to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls. During the stand-down, employers and workers are asked to pause during their workday to talk about fall prevention in construction and discuss topics, such as ladder, scaffolding and roofing work safety. OSHA has also launched an official National Safety Stand-Down website with information on how to conduct a successful stand-down. Afterward, employers will be able to provide feedback and receive a personalized certificate of participation.
The stand-down is part of OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which was started in 2012 and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. The campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to plan to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly.
Five Star Commercial Roofing 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 Peoria Office at 309-589-7033
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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