- OSHA has cited Windermere, Florida-based contractor Kasper Roofing & Construction for fall protection violations and proposed a fine of $134,510 after one of the company's employees fell to his death on a Maitland, Florida project site in April 2018.
- The agency cited the company with one serious violation ($5,174) for not providing adequate training for employees exposed to fall hazards and, specifically, to the potentially dangerous conditions that existed on the job where the fatal accident occurred. OSHA also cited Kasper with a no-penalty, other-than-serious violation for not performing regular inspections to make sure employees were using fall protection. A third citation was for a willful violation ($129,336) that alleges Kasper employees, working at heights of more than 10 feet, were not protected by a guardrail, safety net, personal fall arrest system or some alternative method of fall protection.
- The most recent status of the case, according to the OSHA establishment database, is "pending abatement of violations, pending penalty payment." The citations were issued on Oct. 11, and there is no indication that Kasper has yet contested the fine or citations. The agency's records also indicate that it issued Kasper a serious violation citation related to falls in October of 2014 and negotiated the penalty down to $1,440 from $2,400.
According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of construction deaths, and the agency does not hesitate to levy significant fines when it finds violations, even if there have been no injuries or fatalities.
One of the largest fines for fall protection violations that OSHA has issued in recent years was more than $1.5 million, representing the total of two large fines, to Great White Construction in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time of the August 2017 violations, the company had been cited for fall-related issues 22 times since 2012.
The agency suggests that employers take a three-pronged approach to the prevention of falls — planning, providing the correct equipment and training workers.
OSHA says employers should plan out every aspect of a job before starting work, including the cost of safety equipment and safety systems. It's also important to ensure that items like safety harnesses fit the employee wearing the equipment and are free from damage or defects.
Contractors also must make sure they are using the right kind of ladders, scaffolds and other equipment for the type of work being done. Finally, employers must train their workers about the kinds of fall hazards they might encounter, how to recognize them and how to protect themselves with personal protective equipment.