- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a Florida contractor one repeated, one serious and two willful citations and fined the company $199,100 for unsafe fall protection and ladder safety practices.
- OSHA said two of its investigators saw Chris Sawdo Construction employees, on two separate St. Augustine-area sites, installing roofing sheathing without fall protection, which spurred official inspections. The agency ended up citing Sawdo with failure to provide fall protection for employees working at heights of 20 feet and for two roof-access ladder violations.
- The agency said it has cited Sawdo for fall protection and ladder safety violations six times since 2004.
Florida has seen several construction companies facing severe OSHA fines in recent months. Earlier in September, the agency cited a Jacksonville roofer for fall protection violations — the fourth time in the last year — on a reroofing project in St. Augustine and fined the company, Rogero & Williams Roofing Contractors, more than $128,000.
The most high-profile recent case of a North Florida fall-violation citation, however, involved homebuilding giant D.R. Horton and one of its subcontractors late last month. OSHA alleged that D.R. Horton did not make sure Garcia Carpentry was utilizing proper fall protection procedures while Garcia employees were working at maximum heights of 25 feet. The agency said the subcontractor's employees were also using the top step of a ladder to access roof trusses. OSHA cited both companies a total of $107,000 with the largest fine ($68,591) going to D.R. Horton.
OSHA has been putting significant energy into its Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction program nationwide, as it has said 40% of all preventable construction worker deaths are fall-related. Penalties for fall protection and other OSHA violations that took place after November 2015 are assessed at the agency's new rate — a 78% rate hike.