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Region 7 News Release: 13-606-KAN
April 5, 2013
Contact: Rhonda Burke      Scott Allen
Phone:          312-353-6976
Email: burke.rhonda@dol.gov    allen.scott@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Salina, Kan.-based
Ryan Roofing Inc. after worker paralyzed in fall from roof
Company also placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

SALINA, Kan. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ryan Roofing Inc. in Salina with three willful safety violations after a worker suffered a broken neck and was paralyzed when he fell 20 feet from the roof of a commercial building the company was replacing in Hoisington on Oct. 3, 2012.

"It is unacceptable that Ryan Roofing knowingly failed to evaluate working conditions and provide workers with fall protection to prevent severe injuries," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Falls remain the leading cause of death and injury in the construction industry, and companies who perform this type of work must take responsibility for protecting their workers on the job."

The three willful violations include failing to ensure the integrity of a roof structure employers were working on, to provide and use fall protection systems on a low-sloped roof and to provide training on fall protection to workers. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Due to the nature of the hazards and the violations cited, Ryan Roofing has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. OSHA's SVEP focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations at related work sites of the employer.

Proposed penalties for this investigation total $115,500. The current citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/RyansRoofing_682238_0401_13.pdf.*

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, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.

Ryan Roofing Inc. 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. This was OSHA's third inspection of the company, which has previously been cited for lack of fall protection and training.

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 Wichita Area Office at 316-269-6644.

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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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.


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