Region 7 News Release: 11-968-KAN
June 29, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Juniata Roofing, Siding and Seamless
Gutter for exposing workers to fall hazards at Hastings, Neb., job site
OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Juniata Roofing, Siding and Seamless Gutter in Juniata, Neb., for one repeat and five serious safety violations for exposing workers to fall hazards. Proposed penalties total $49,000.
OSHA's inspection of the company was initiated in April under a local emphasis program focused on fall hazards, following a referral alleging employees were exposed to fall hazards while installing a roof at a Hastings, Neb., job site.
"Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the workplace. It is the employer's responsibility to provide a fall protection program that ensures employees are properly trained and equipped," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Employers must make safety priority number one and take all necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."
The repeat violation is similar to one cited in September 2009 for allowing employees to work on a scaffold at heights greater than 10 feet without fall protection. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Serious violations include the company's failure to properly retrain those employees exposed to scaffold hazards prior to allowing them to continue working on scaffolds; allowing employees to work at heights greater than 6 feet without fall protection; failing to properly retrain those employees exposed to fall hazards prior to allowing them to continue working at heights; allowing workers to use a stepladder in a manner for which it was not designed; and allowing workers to ascend a ladder without grasping the ladder with at least one hand. 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.
OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform residential construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Omaha Area Office; telephone 402-553-0174. 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.