December 5, 2016
O’FALLON, Ill. – Federal investigators saw eight workers at risk of falls of more than 14 feet while re-roofing a commercial structure in O’Fallon in October 2016 because their employer failed to provide adequate fall protection.
On Nov. 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Joiner Sheet Metal & Roofing Inc. of Greenville, one repeat and two serious safety violations.
“An adequate fall protection system must be used whenever employees are working at heights greater than 6 feet,” said Aaron Priddy, OSHA’s area director in Fairview Heights. “Preventable falls account for nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction industry. OSHA is committed to protecting construction workers from unnecessary injuries or worse.”
Inspectors also found:
Warning lines were not properly rigged.
A competent person did not inspect the work sites frequently.
Joiner Sheet Metal & Roofing faces $61,721 in proposed federal fines. View current citations here.
Federal safety and health officials are determined to reduce the numbers of preventable, fall-related deaths in the construction industry. OSHA offers a Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page provides fact sheets, posters and videos that 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.
The ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. Begun in 2012, the campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use gear properly.
Joiner Sheet Metal & 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 amputations, eye loss, 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 Fairview Heights Area Office at 618-632-8612.
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.