The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Jasper Contractors for six safety violations for exposing workers to falls and other hazards while they performed roofing work at two residential work sites in Jacksonville, Fla. The inspections were initiated in March 2014 after the agency received complaints that employees were working from roofs without fall protection. Proposed penalties total $162,000.
"Management did not take any action to minimize the fall hazards while the employees worked from residential roofs, even though the workers wore harnesses and there were ropes and anchors on the roof," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville.
Jasper Contractors, headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., is a nationwide contractor that specializes in residential, commercial and metal roofing. The company has been inspected by OSHA 12 times since 2009 and received multiple citations for repeat and serious violations of residential fall protection standards. Jasper currently employs approximately 74 workers nationwide.
Willful citations were issued at each of the work sites for allowing employees to perform roofing work at heights of 8 to 12 feet without fall protection. 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.
OSHA issued a repeat violation for failure to ensure employees wore eye protection, which exposed workers to eye injuries from flying debris and nails. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company received citations for this same violation in 2012 and 2013 at two jobsites in Colorado.
Two serious violations were cited for failure to ensure workers on the ground wore head protection while cleaning up debris thrown from the roof and for failure to extend the side rails of a ladder 3 feet above the upper landing surface to provide roof access. Another violation was cited for failure to provide a first aid kit for employees. 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.
Jasper Contractors has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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.