Here we go again, another contractor fined for a roofers death due to lack of proper fall protection. The contractor, Fairview Contractors, Inc. from Lee, Mass. was fined for a whopping $119,350.00. The contractor was cited for 2 willful violations for failure to provide fall protection and 5 serious for the remaining hazards. (See the fines below)
Why are contractors not listening? It appears some contractors only care about following the standards when they are caught not following them!
I have been writing about what contractors need to do regarding fall protection for months trying to inform them that OSHA is serious about enforcing the standards. OSHA is publicizing fall protection all over the country announcing the National Fall Protection Stand-down week in June. I spoke at three OSHA awareness sessions a few weeks ago and there were many seats available in these free sessions. In our recent fall protection classes only one contractor was there to learn while everyone else was there because they were cited by OSHA.
This death and fine is only going to increase OSHA's resolve to aggressively enforce fall protection in the residential construction industry. Contractors who continue to ignore the standards run the risk of job site injuries, deaths and substantial fines. With spring here I predict you will see more job site inspections than years past.
Google search results show Fairview's OSHA Fine on first page
I did a quick search for this company and their OSHA citation/fine came up on the first page results. Consumers seeking to learn about this company online will quickly learn that this company is unsafe and will likely disqualify them right away. Here is the search result on Google, second on the page.
The OSHA Inspection Results
Here is the breakdown of the OSHA inspection details and Fairview Fines. Read them, compare to your work practices and think about how you would do if OSHA inspected your job site. Note; remember that you can be fined for unsafe work by your employees and your sub contractors on your site.
"OSHA found that the four scaffolds on which the employees worked lacked guardrails and that employees working on the roof and scaffolds lacked fall arrest systems. An additional fall hazard stemmed from a lack of guardrails for walk boards that workers used to access one scaffold from another. Fairview Contractors also failed to train the workers about how to recognize hazards and work safely on scaffolds, roofs and ladders. As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Fairview Contractors for two willful violations for the lack of fall protection and five serious violations for the remaining hazards."
Citation 1 Item 1 Type of Violation: Serious $5390.00
29 CFR 1926.45l(e)(5)(i): Ramps and walkways 6 feet or more above lower levels did not have
guardrail systems that comply with subpart M of this part- Fall Protection:
Citation 1 Item 2 a Type of Violation: Serious $5390.00
29 CFR 1926.454(a): The employer did not have each employee who performed work while on a scaffold trained to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards.
Citation 1 Item 2 b Type of Violation: Serious
29 CFR 1926.454(b): The employer did not have each employee involved in erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting a scaffold trained to recognize any hazards associated with the work in question:
Citation 1 Item 3 Type of Violation: Serious $5390.00
29 CFR 1926.503(a)(1): The employer did not provide a training program for each employee
potentially exposed to,fall hazards to enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards:
Citation 1 Item 4 a ·Type of Violation: Serious $5390.00
29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(1): Portable ladders were used for access to an upper landing surface and the ladder side rails did not extend at least 3 feet (.9 m) above the upper landing surface to which the ladder was used to gain access:
Citation 1 Item 4 b Type of Violation: Serious
29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(22): Employees using ladders were carrying objects or loads that could cause the employee to lose balance and fall:
Location: 57 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA: On or about November 14,2013, employees carnying boxes of Grace Ice & Water Shield while ascending an extension ladder to a scaffold platform more than 17 feet above ground level were exposed to fall hazards while carrying the roofing material.
Citation 1 Item 5 Type of Violation: Serious $5390.00
29 CPR 1926.1060(a): The employer did not provide a training program for each employee using ladders and stairways which would enable each employee to recognize hazards related to ladders and stairways and train each employee in the procedures to be followed to minimize these hazards:
Location: 57 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA: On or about November 14, 2013, employees using an extension ladder to access a scaffold platform 17 feet above ground level were not provided ladder training to recognize hazards related to ladders and in the procedures to be followed to minimize these hazards.
Citation 2 Item 1 Type of Violation: Willful $46,200.00
29 CFR 1926.451 (g)(l )(vii): Each employee on a scaffold, not otherwise specified in paragraphs (g)(l)(i) through (g)(l)(vi) of this section, more than 10 feet (3.1 m) above lower level was not protected from falls by the use of personal fall anest systems or guardrail systems meeting the requirements of paragraph (g)(4) of this section:
Location: 57 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA: On or about November 14,2013, employees were exposed to unprotected fall hazards of approximately 17 feet to the ground below while working from tubular welded frame scaffolds.
Citation 2 Item 2 Type of Violation: Willful $46,200.00
29CFR 1926.501(b)(13): Each employee(s) engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels not protected by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system, nor were employee(s) provided with an alternative fall protection measure under another provision of paragraph 1926.501(b):
Location: 57 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA: On or about November 14,2013, employees were exposed to unprotected falls of approximately 17 feet while working on a residential roof.