OSHA fines IL contractor another $162K for new case of fall protection violations

Dive Brief:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Illinois contractor, Don Bosco, LLC, for the second time in a month for failing to provide adequate fall protection for its employees. OSHA has issued the company two willful and five serious safety citations and fined the company an additional $162,000.
  • According to OSHA, in August, one of its inspectors saw eight Don Bosco employees constructing rafters without guardrails, safety nets or personal fall prevention devices on a residential framing project in Wheaton, IL. In addition, the inspector found unguarded floor openings, unguarded windows and unprotected sides in work areas, which put workers at risk of falling more than 14 feet. OSHA also found that the company exposed workers to fall hazards by allowing the use of stairways and landings without guardrails. In addition, they say Don Bosco exposed workers to the possibility of electrical shock from damaged extension cords and lack of ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • OSHA also previously cited Don Bosco for one willful and seven serious safety violations and fined the company $103,000 in relation to fall hazards, scaffold hazards and personal protective equipment violations.

Dive Insight:

OSHA says that falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for nearly 40 percent of construction fatalities in 2014.

"Don Bosco continues to ignore OSHA standards and is failing to protect its employees on the job,” Jake Scott, OSHA's area director in North Aurora, said. "OSHA will continue to monitor this employer for compliance, and do everything in its power to keep workers safely out of life-threatening working conditions."

Don Bosco is not alone in its lack of attention to safety. OSHA has recently fined a Georgia contractor $65,000 for not providing adequate fall protection, as well as contractors in North Dakota, Wisconsin, New York and Arizona, Some of these cases, all with hefty fines, have even resulted in worker injuries and deaths.

Safety procedures must be in order before August 2016, as OSHA is expected to raise its fines approximately 80% in order to get in line with the Consumer Price Index — the first increase of OSHA fines since 1990. 

OSHA has created a fall prevention campaign in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda to provide detailed information, in English and Spanish, on fall protection standards. 

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