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Region 7 News Release: KC-OSHA-08
Date: Fri., May 10,2002
Contact: Norma Conrad
Roofing Contractor's Failure To Protect Workers Against Falls Results In Two Fatalities, Brings $301,000 In OSHA Penalties
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The failure of a North Platte, Neb. roofing contractor to provide workers with adequate fall protection contributed to two fatal accidents last December and has resulted in multiple citations and proposed penalties totaling $301,000 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The citations and penalties assessed Weathercraft Roofing Co. are the result of investigations of fatal falls at two separate work sites. In both instances, Weathercraft Roofing was the controlling contractor at the site.
OSHA initiated the first inspection following a fatal accident Dec. 7, 2001 in North Platte in which the employee of a Weathercraft Roofing sub-contractor at a residential construction site fell head-first from a roof. The agency issued citations for alleged willful, serious, and other-than-serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, with a proposed penalty of $154,000.
"The two alleged willful citations involved failure to ensure that subcontractors utilized and were trained to use appropriate fall protection systems," said OSHA Regional Administrator Charles E. Adkins, CIH, who explained that a willful violation is one committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference to requirements of the OSHA law and regulations.
Two alleged serious citations involved failure to assess the jobsite's rural location and abilities of local EMT rescue units, and failure to ensure an employee on-site was trained in first-aid and CPR. Employee training deficiencies related to exposure to chemical hazards were noted on an other-than-serious citation.
An second inspection was conducted in response to a fatal accident Dec. 31, in which a Weathercraft Roofing employee also fell from a roof, this time at a commerical building site in North Platte. OSHA issued citations for three alleged willful and one alleged serious violation, and a proposed penalty of $147,000. The willful citations involved inadequate fall protection, failure to train employees on the nature of fall hazards in the work area, and failure to train employees to use fall protection systems. The serious citation was for failure to provide and install an adequate fall protection system.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition, and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Weathercraft Roofing Co. of North Platte has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply with them, hold an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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