Oct. 30, 2014
Bosco Custom Homes exposes workers to dangerous fall hazards
OSHA proposes fines of $174,240 for lack of fall protection at 3 residential job sites
ELGIN, Ill. – Bosco Custom Homes Inc. has again been cited for failure to provide fall protection to workers on three separate residential framing projects. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company for 30 violations, including three willful, 20 serious and seven repeat safety violations. Proposed penalties total $174,240.
OSHA cited the company for similar violations in 2013. Bosco Custom Homes has not provided OSHA with documentation to prove it fixed hazards identified in a previous inspection, and has not paid any portion of the $17,200 in penalties.
"Bosco Custom Homes has failed to fix safety hazards related to falls. This shows an inexcusable and deliberate lack of care for the safety and health of the company's employees," said Jake Scott, OSHA's area director in North Aurora. "Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and allowing construction workers to be exposed to fall hazards without fall protection is unacceptable."
An OSHA inspector observed eight employees engaged in framing operations on a ranch home under construction on April 30, 2014, in Elgin. The workers were constructing rafters high in the air and were not provided a recommended means of fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems. The workers were exposed to falls in excess of 11 feet.
On June 10, employees were observed working without fall protection at a home in Wheaton and were exposed to falls of 19 feet. Additionally, workers were exposed to falls of 12 feet at a residential home under construction in Elgin on June 19.
Bosco Custom Homes was cited for one willful violation for failing to provide fall protection at each of these work sites. 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.
The company was cited for seven repeat violations for failing to provide protective helmets and fall protection training and improper use of an extension ladder. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Bosco Custom Homes was cited for similar violations in March 2013 at work sites in Plainfield and Naperville and in October 2013 at a work site in Elgin.
Additionally, 20 serious violations that exposed workers to scaffold hazards, struck-by and electrical hazards were cited. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
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 to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly.
View the current citations:
Bosco Custom Homes 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 North Aurora office at 630-896-8700.
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: 14-983-CHI
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