The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Roger Shortridge Construction, based in Mt. Lookout, W. Va., for one willful and two serious violations at a Tridelphia, W. Va., worksite. OSHA initiated an investigation in March after a compliance officer observed fall hazards while conducting an inspection of another contractor at the worksite. Proposed penalties total $47,400.
The willful violation is failing to ensure that employees use fall protection when working on a steep roof. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The citation carries a $42,000 penalty.
The serious violations involve failing to initiate and maintain a safety and health program as well as to ensure the use of eye protection. 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 citations carry $5,400 in penalties.
Roger Shortridge Construction, which employed five employees at the worksite, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA 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 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 Charleston office at (304) 347-5937.