Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Two Bismarck companies cited after 22-year-old seriously injured in fall
BISMARCK, N.D. ‒ Two Bismarck companies have been cited by federal safety inspectors for failing to protect workers from fall hazards of up to 18 feet at a residential home construction site in the 4600 block of Greyhawk Lane in February.
Responding to a report that a 22-year-old worker, employed by Front Street Millwork & Lumber, suffered serious injuries when he fell about 20 feet while using a blow torch to unthaw roofing materials at a home under construction Feb. 22, federal inspectors observed four workers employed by L & L Brendel Construction conducting roofing operations without fall protection systems in place the following day.
“It is disappointing that the day following a serious fall injury, that L & L Brendel would fail to ensure its workers were using adequate fall protection to prevent further injuries at this site,” said Eric Brooks, OSHA’s area director in Bismarck. “Falls remain the leading cause of preventable death in the construction industry, accounting for 40 percent of construction fatalities last year. All employees working at a height greater than 6 feet must use lifesaving fall protection equipment.”
On April 11, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Bismarck Office issued L & L Brendel Construction LLC two willful safety violations for exposing workers to falls of 11-18 feet and failing to train employees on fall hazards.
Front Street Millwork & Lumber was issued one serious violation on March 23. OSHA proposed fines of $4,900 to the contractor.
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.
OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down from May 2-6 is intended to help employers, unions and workers nationwide to re-commit to understanding and using fall safety protection to avoid serious injuries and fatalities. 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.
Both companies have 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 Bismarck Area Office at 701-250-4521.
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.