Miller Building Systems cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for willfully
exposing workers to dangerous fall hazards
Last year, nearly 300 workers nationwide were fatally injured in construction-related falls
SAVOY, Ill. – Miller Building Systems LLC has been cited for two willful safety violations for exposing workers to fall and overhead hazards while doing roofing work on a residential home under construction in Savoy. This is the fifth time the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company for similar violations in the past five years. Proposed penalties total $55,000.
"Miller Building Systems has a significant history of violations and has shown consistent reluctance to enforce basic safety standards to protect workers from falls," said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and lack of fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA standard."
An OSHA inspector observed two employees applying sheathing at the home on April 9. The workers were not provided a recommended means of fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems. Additionally, one other employee was working at ground level without adequate head protection and was exposed to overhead hazards from the roofers. Both are willful violations.
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.
OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which was started in 2012, 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 for fall prevention, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly.
Miller Building Systems, based in Arcola, 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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