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OSHA fines OH contractor nearly $117K after worker fell to his death

Dive Brief:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Ohio contractor R&B Contractors for one willful, 11 serious and three other-than-serious safety violations in connection with a worker who fell 40 feet to his death in August. The agency also fined R&B $116,900.
  • OSHA says the 53-year-old worker’s life could have been saved if R&B had provided proper fall protection. Instead, OSHA investigators found no guardrails, safety nets or personal fall prevention devices in place at the time of the fall.
  • In addition to the lack of fall-prevention protection, OSHA found that R&B also failed to train workers about fall hazards, develop a safety and health program, designate a safety monitor, train powered industrial vehicle operators or record injuries and illnesses.

Dive Insight:

R&B's willful violation states that "the employer did not provide adequate fall protection systems in that employees were working on a low-slope commercial roof while not utilizing an adequate fall protection system, exposing employees to a fall height in excess of 40 feet." The fine for this citation alone is $70,000.

"Four of 10 fatalities in the construction industry in 2014 were the result of a deadly fall," Ken Montgomery, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati said in a news release. "Falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers and can be prevented with proper fall protection. Yet another worker has died needlessly because his employer failed to protect his safety. This has to stop."

This month OSHA also fined KB Home Florida and three other companies $145,000 for fall protection and other violations at a residential subdivision site in Jacksonville, FL.

The agency also recently cited and fined Illinois contractor Ziggy's Roofing $115,000 for exposing workers to dangerous fall hazards at two different work sites within a month. OSHA also cited a Massachusetts roofing contractor for 16 safety violations and fined the company $188,000 for not providing adequate fall protection.

In August of this year, safety violators will most likely see their fines increase 80% or more when OSHA raises its fine levels for the first time since 1990.

Recommended Reading

Cincinnati.com: Contractor facing $117K in fines in worker's death