U.S. Department of Labor | Dec. 2, 2015
Batavia, Illinois, builder exposes workers to dangerous fall hazards
OSHA proposes fines of $103K for lack of fall protection at residential job site
BATAVIA, Ill. ? Falls were the leading cause of death for construction workers last year, accounting for nearly 40 percent* of construction fatalities. Yet, federal inspectors recently saw Batavia roofing contractors working on a residential framing project without fall protection.
Following an inspection on June 2, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Don Bosco LLC for one willful and seven serious safety violations on Nov. 30. Proposed penalties total $103,000.
As the construction industry continues to grow, falls
continue to be the leading cause of death.Yr 2010-255 Yr 2011- 255 Yr 2012- 279
Yr 2013 - 291 Yr 2014-337- BLS data for 2014 is preliminary
An OSHA inspector observed eight employees engaged in framing operations on a home under construction in Elgin. As the workers constructed rafters, they were not provided fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems.
"Don Bosco has demonstrated a deliberate lack of concern for the safety of its employees by refusing to comply with fall protection standards," said Jake Scott, OSHA's area director in North Aurora.
OSHA found workers exposed to falls in excess of 17 feet when they were building scaffolds and 19 feet while constructing rafters. The agency also determined that the company did the following:
- Exposed workers to scaffold hazards.
- Failed to train workers on fall hazards.
- Neglected to provide hard hats.
The agency has two additional inspections open with the company for similar violations observed in June 2015 and August 2015.
OSHA has created a Stop Falls online resource 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.
The agency's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which began 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 gear properly.
View current citations here*.
Don Bosco 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 amputations, eye loss, 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: 15-2296-CHI
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