Region 7 News Release: 11-364-KAN
March 23, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Wichita, Kan., roofing contractor
for exposing employees to fall hazards, fines total $116,000
WICHITA, Kan. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Gerardo Montes, a roofing contractor in Wichita, with two willful and two serious alleged violations of OSHA's safety standards. The agency has proposed a total of $116,000 in penalties.
OSHA initiated its inspection in September 2010 when employees of the company were observed installing a roof without fall protection.
"There is no excuse for employees to be exposed to fall hazards such as these. Employees working at heights must be protected," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and provide safe working environments for all of their employees."
The willful citations allege employees were working at heights without fall protection, as well as a lack of necessary training in fall hazards and use of protective equipment. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The serious citations address hazards associated with improper ladder use and a lack of training on the proper use of ladders. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Wichita or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Wichita Area Office, telephone 316-269-6644. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.