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Region 8 News Release: OSHA 05-543-DEN
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: (303) 844-1302
GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited M.C. Roofing, Grand Forks, N.D., for exposing workers to fall hazards at two Grand Forks job sites. The agency is citing five alleged willful and four alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and proposing penalties totaling $172,600.
"The violations resulted because the employer failed to provide adequate protection for employees exposed to fall hazards up to 20 feet above ground level," said Bruce Beelman, OSHA area director in Bismarck. "The employer knew of fall hazards and failed to remove employees from those potentially life threatening conditions."
The citations were issued by the OSHA Bismarck area office following inspections conducted Oct. 7, 2004, at 575 Holzapple St., Grand Forks Air Force Base and Jan. 19, 2005, at 2950 10th Avenue N. in Grand Forks. OSHA cited the company for five willful violations with proposed penalties totaling $160,000. Alleged violations include failing to provide fall protection on a scaffold and failing to provide fall protection training for working on low-sloped roofs.
Four additional serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $12,000, dealt with the firm's failure to: fully deck the working levels of scaffolds; secure scaffolding; have a competent person supervising during scaffold erection; and provide scaffold training. The company also received a citation, with a proposed penalty of $600, for failing to maintain the OSHA injury log.
Since 1997, M.C. Roofing has been inspected by OSHA's Bismarck Area Office nine times resulting in several citations for fall-related violations. Since 1998, Minnesota OSHA has conducted four inspections of the company resulting in nine violations for fall hazards. Additionally, the company was notified on three occasions by the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance Loss Prevention Division for specifically not providing fall protection for employees working close to the edge of roofs.
Fall hazards in construction have been targeted since 1983 through a special emphasis program at the Bismarck Area Office. Studies estimate that approximately 68,000 serious injuries and 100 fatalities occur every year from fall-related hazards. Falls are the leading cause of work-related deaths among construction workers nationwide.
A serious violation is defined as one committed where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA Act and its regulations. M.C. Roofing has 15 working days from the receipt of the citation to request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The investigation was conducted by inspectors from OSHA's Bismarck area office, phone: (701) 250-4521. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.
OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at <http://www.dol.gov>. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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