Note: This article has been adapted from the DOL/OSHA news releases website.
Diaz Roofing LLC allowed four employees to reshingle a residential rooftop without required fall protection, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found. As a result, OSHA cited the roofing company for one willful and one serious safety violation with proposed penalties of $73,080. The company has been cited previously 11 times for lack of fall protection.
“Diaz Roofing has a history of breaking OSHA fall standards — the leading cause of industry deaths,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison. “Last year, hundreds of workers failed to return home as a result of falls.”
OSHA initiated an inspection on Aug. 11, 2014, after it received a complaint about unsafe working conditions. Investigators observed workers who performed sheathing and felt paper installation on a pitched roof more than 15 feet high. The workers did not use fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, which resulted in a citation for one willful violation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Diaz Roofing also was cited for one serious violation for failure to train workers in fall protection requirements. An OSHA violation is serious when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA maintains a Web page 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 be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
OSHA’s ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to create a plan to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly. The campaign launched in 2012. It was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program.
Diaz Roofing 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.
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 Madison Area Office at 608-441-5388.
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.