OSHA Cites St. Louis Roofing Contractor for Repeatedly Exposing Workers to Hazards

The contractor faces a nearly $69,000 fine for six serious and five repeat safety violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the following Region 7 news release:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited St. Louis roofing contractor Juan Zuniga with six serious and five repeat safety violations for exposing workers to fall and other hazards. OSHA's inspection, which began in October 2010, resulted in proposed penalties totaling $68,720.

"Falls remain the number one killer of workers in the construction industry," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "OSHA will not tolerate employers continuing to place their workers' lives at needless risk by failing to provide and ensure the use of fall protection."

The serious citations allege a lack of eye protection, scaffold fall and tripping hazards, and inadequate scaffold use training. A serious citation is issued 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 repeat citations are similar to those issued against the same company on Nov. 25, 2009, and Aug. 16, 2010. Alleged hazards include those associated with falls from a roof, improper ladder use and personnel point of access, and jobsite inspection deficiencies. A repeat citation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Detailed information on fall protection in construction and safe work practices in the construction industry, including an interactive e-Tool, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

Juan Zuniga has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in St. Louis, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's St. Louis Area Office, telephone 314-425-4249. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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.

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