OSHA News Release: [12/12/2012]
Contact Name: Ted Fitzgerald or Andre Bowser
Phone Number: (617) 565-2075 or x2074
Release Number: 12-2441-BOS
US Labor Departmentís OSHA cites New Hampshire roofing contractor for willful and serious violations and fall hazards at Seacoast work site
High & Dry Roofing faces more than $118,000 in proposed penalties
CONCORD, N.H. Employees of Litchfield roofing contractor Michael Cahoon, doing business as High & Dry Roofing, were exposed to potentially deadly or disabling falls from a two-story residential roof that lacked fall protection. As the result of an inspection of a Hampton work site by Concord Area Office personnel from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, citations were issued for alleged willful and serious safety violations. The company faces a total of $118,500 in proposed fines for the violations.
Willful violations include working without hard hats and proper fall protection, as well as workers improperly using extension ladders that did not extend 3 feet above the upper landing surface. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The proposed penalties for the willful violations total $108,000.
Serious violations include working on scaffolding without proper fall protection; scaffold planking that did not have sufficient overlap; scaffold planking that did not have an adequate cantilever in place; as well as an unguarded belt and pulleys on a compressor that was tagged out of service. A serious violation occurs 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. The total proposed penalties for the serious violations are $10,500.
"OSHA has cited this employer for fall-related hazards three previous times at work sites in New Hampshire and Maine, yet these hazards are allowed to recur," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "These hazards could have been prevented by planning ahead to do the job safely, providing workers with proper equipment and training them to recognize and address fall hazards."
With falls as the leading cause of death in construction work, OSHA is calling upon employers in New Hampshire to take effective action to reduce and minimize fall hazards.
"Falls are the No. 1 killer in construction work, having taken the lives of more than 250 of this nation's construction workers in 2010 the latest data available," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "To help stop this needless loss of life, OSHA has launched a campaign to remind employers and employees alike of what they can do to eliminate fall hazards at their work sites."
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are working with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations and consulates to provide employers and workers especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers with education and training on common-sense fall prevention equipment and strategies that save lives. OSHA has also created a new fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls that has detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page includes fact sheets, posters and fall prevention videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MichaelCahoon_dba_HighandDryRoofing_435951_1106_12.pdf.
Employers have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA 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 Concord office at 603-225-1629.
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.