Sept. 23, 2014
Roofers not provided fall protection at two work sites
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Tuscola, Illinois, contractor for 4 willful violations
TUSCOLA, Ill. – Roofing contractor Juan M. Garcia Martinez has been cited for four willful safety violations for exposing workers to fall hazards at two separate residential home sites in Tuscola. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties of $48,400 for the recent citations. OSHA cited the company twice in March 2014 for similar violations.
"Martinez has not cooperated with OSHA during previous inspections and continues to fail to fix real hazards at its job sites" said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Falls remain the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, and this company's refusal to protect these workers really is a question of life or death."
On June 9, an OSHA compliance officer observed four employees working without fall protection on a residential roof on Beecher Drive. On June 27, another six workers were observed working without fall protection at a residential home on Carico Street. In both instances, the workers were at heights greater than 9 feet. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be used when workers perform construction activities above 6 feet from the next lower level.
Martinez was cited for two willful violations at each location for failure to provide fall protection and to develop an accident prevention program at the work sites. Failing to provide required fall protection is one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. OSHA regulations require the use of a recommended means of fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems.
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 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's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which 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 prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly.
Martinez, based in Villa Grove, has 15 business days from receipt of his 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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Release Number: 14-1667-CHI
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