The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a Burbank, IL, contractor $80,741 for failing to provide adequate fall protection, protective equipment and training required to work safely with silica and Portland cement.
OSHA said that JW Construction & Plastering Inc., which was remodeling a home in Evanston, IL, exposed workers to fall hazards of up to 25 feet and allowed them to apply stucco without adequate personal protective gear.
The agency issued two willful, two repeated and three serious safety violations after inspectors visited the site on Aug. 25. The company was cited for similar violations in 2014.
The latest fine by OSHA comes as part of the agency’s clampdown on falls, which remain the leading cause of death and injury on construction sites. Preventable falls account for nearly 40% of all deaths in the construction industry, according to the agency.
Last month, OSHA fined Ohio-based A&W Roofing $307,824 for violations on a site in Pittsburgh, including working without proper fall protection. And in October, it fined New Jersey-based Station Builders $291,997 for failing to provide proper fall protection and personal protective equipment.
OSHA has also recently targeted rules around exposure to silica dust and earlier this year implemented a new measure that reduces the allowed exposure to silica from 250 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour period to 50 micrograms. The rule also requires companies to record worker exposure to silica and provide medical exams for exposed workers.
Safety experts have said that exposure to silica dust can cause lung damage and other respiratory problems.
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