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OSHA Fines FL Roofer $133K

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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Florida Roofing Experts Inc. (Jacksonville, Florida) has recently been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing employees to fall hazards.

The roofing contractor now faces the maximum penalty, totaling $132,598.

What Happened

During a Jacksonville-area inspection, as part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction, inspectors claim they saw Florida Roofing Expert employees completing residential roofing actions without proper fall protection.

Ed Brown, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Florida Roofing Experts Inc. (Jacksonville, Florida) has recently been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing employees to fall hazards.

In the citation, OSHA indicated that five employees working on a 3:12 pitch were exposed to fall hazards that totaled 13 feet, 6 inches to the ground from the roof’s edges.

The notice also states that Florida Roofing Experts and its successor, Great White Construction, have been cited three other times since August 2017 for the same willful violation. According to OSHA, these types of violations can easily be abated by ensuring all employees wear appropriate fall protection equipment when higher than 6 feet above the next lower level.

The company now has 15 business days since receiving the citation notice and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference or contest OSHA’s findings.

Inspector Increases

With 76 new inspectors on the verge of graduating from their training, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta recently told Congress that the number of OSHA inspections will be increasing. Not to mention, 10 of OSHA’s U.S. regional offices have enforced Local Emphasis Programs to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction.

"Implementing OSHA’s safety standards can help protect employees from risk of serious or fatal injuries." said OSHA Jacksonville Area Director Michelle Gonzalez.

"Employers have an obligation to provide personal protective equipment for their workers to prevent from falls from height."

Since being hired in 2017, the future OSHA-certified inspectors are finally on the verge of getting their careers rolling. But, while construction companies and contractors can be sure that fall protection will be on the inspector’s agenda, those who perform trenching and excavation work should also be on the lookout.

Back in October 2018, OSHA issued a National Emphasis Program to reduce hazards related to serious injuries and fatalities during trenching and excavation operations.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; Hazards; Health and safety; Inspection; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; PaintSquare App - Commercial; Safety; Violations

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (4/16/2019, 11:32 AM)

So, a third willful violations in 18 months...considering falls are consistently in the top 10 causes of occupational fatalities / injuries and that there has been a focused awareness campaign, it just makes you shake your head. Perhaps OSHA fines need an "add a zero" factor for willful citations within 3 or 5 years: 1st offense - automatic minimum $1,000 fine per cited hazard, 2nd - $10,000 per, 3rd - $100,000 per, 4th - $1,000,000 per and so on. Something tells me when you get into the 3rd, 4th or 5th citation per hazard (especially if they are getting cited for multiple hazards), companies will start looking a little more at their safety programs or will cease to operate. Don't get me wrong, here...I'm not against any employer (small or large). BUT...if you're going to take on a job, you do it right and you do it safely! Employee deaths and injuries are NOT a cost of doing business!


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