US Department of Labor cites Utah solar power company after inspectors find workers atop snow-covered Johnstown roof without fall protection
DENVER – Cited 12 times since 2018 for endangering workers, a Utah-based solar provider allowed employees to work on an icy, snow-covered two-story roof in Johnstown without legally required fall protection in late December 2022, a U.S. Department of Labor safety investigation found.
Acting on a complaint about workers’ safety at risk, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an inspection and found that Ion Solar LLC ignored fall protection requirements in the company’s safety and health program, which exposed its employees to falls from elevation, the construction industry’s leading cause of death.
An onsite company manager told an OSHA investigator that he did not enforce the safety program for a one-day job. In addition to not ensuring the use of fall protection, Ion Solar also did not provide employees on the ground with hard hats to protect them from objects falling from the roof. OSHA cited the company for lack of hard hats and willfully exposing workers to falls, with a total proposed penalty of $170,992.
“Serious and fatal injuries on construction sites can occur on day one or day 10,” said OSHA Area Director Amanda Kupper in Denver. “Regardless of how long a project takes, employers are required to protect their workers from start to finish.”
Since 2018, the company’s history of workplace safety issues includes OSHA violations from inspections in May 2018 in Arvada; December 2020 in San Antonio, Texas, and Hampton, Virginia; September 2022 in Aurora and in Gresham, Oregon; and February 2023 in Garner, North Carolina.
Founded in 2013, Ion Solar provides design, installation and inspection, and system maintenance of residential solar power systems. Based in Provo, Utah, the company has locations in 11 states nationwide.
Ion Solar LLC has 15 business days from receipt of citation 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.
OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures.