The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Wolcott, CT-based M&M Roofing $185,194 for one willful, three repeat and two serious violations for inadequate fall protection and related training on a job site in Middletown, CT.
OSHA inspectors noted that, on multiple visits to the site, it found that safety harnesses worn by employees were not tied off. Other violations include ladders that didn’t extend the required distance above the next level and open holes in the roof without fall guards.
- The company was cited in 2013 and 2014 for similar violations at sites in Manchester and Watertown, MA, according to the agency.
OSHA is continuing its focus on fall-protection violations, citing M&M for repeatedly exposing its employees to "potentially deadly or disabling falls." Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, and construction leads all other industries in workplace-fall-related fatalities.
Earlier this month, Construction Dive outlined five steps to ensuring proper fall protection on the job site. They include setting expectations about which fall protection or arrest systems will be used at the start of the project and ensuring everyone who comes onto the site to work is trained to use them, as well as educating workers on how to properly use the gear and keeping track of which workers contractors and subcontractors are subbing in.
"If you look at protecting that employee 100%, OSHA’s going to come in there and, in most cases, be on the same page as you," Lari Kippen, director of heavy construction and specialty compliance at Bloomington, MN-based safety consultancy OSHA Environmental Compliance Systems (OECS), told Construction Dive earlier this month. "If you look at it only complying with OSHA, you can potentially still put an employee at risk."
Construction contractors have been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months for failing to provide adequate fall-protection equipment and related training to ensure proper use. OSHA also increased its maximum penalty payout by 78% in August to match inflation while raising the stakes for companies lax on safety — fall protection included.
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