OSHA Proposes $79,000 in Fines Against North Reading, Mass., Contractor for Fall Hazards

 
Monday, May 4, 2009
 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a North Reading, Mass., roofing contractor for 16 alleged violations of safety and health standards. Duval Roofing LLC faces a total of $79,000 in proposed fines for fall, scaffold, ladder and other hazards identified at a residential construction site located at 138 Pleasant St. in Woburn, Mass.

OSHA's inspection found employees working on a two-story roof without fall protection and accessing the roof and scaffolding on ladders that did not extend at least three feet above the upper landing surface. As a result, OSHA issued the company two willful citations, carrying $56,000 in proposed fines, for those conditions. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

"It takes only one slip or misstep to turn a construction site into an accident scene," said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA's area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. "That's why it is imperative that employers supply effective fall protection where required so their workers are protected against potentially deadly or disabling falls."

OSHA also issued the company 14 serious citations, with $23,000 in fines, for a variety of scaffold hazards involving improper construction, lack of fall protection, lack of scaffold training, an overloaded scaffold and locating a scaffold too close to an energized power line; fall hazards from ladders not used at a proper angle, unsecured ladders, a defective ladder and areas not kept clear around tops and bottoms of ladders; and lack of head, eye and face protection for employees exposed to overhead hazards.

OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

Duval Roofing has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Boston North Area Office in Methuen; telephone 617-565-8110.
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