The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited roofing contractor Airworks Construction, based in Luthersburg, Pa., for safety violations, including one willful, found while workers were replacing a roof on a residence in Williamsport, Pa. OSHA's August inspection was prompted by a complaint alleging fall hazards and was part of the agency's regional and national emphasis programs on construction falls. Proposed penalties total $36,960.
The willful violation, carrying a $30,800 penalty, was due to the company's failure to provide workers with fall protection while working from the roof surface, resulting in exposure to fall hazards of up to 22 feet. 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.
Three serious violations, with a $6,160 penalty, were cited for failing to ensure use of eye protection when operating a pneumatic nailer; use of a safety harness when working from an aerial lift and associated training; and proper use of portable ladders. 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.
OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
Airworks Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Wilkes-Barre, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.