OSHA fines NY roofing contractor $96K for repeat fall-protection violations
OSHA cited The Roofing Guys, a contractor in Syracuse, NY, for exposing workers to falls from heights of up to 20 feet as well as for using a roof access ladder that failed to extend a minimum of three feet about the edge of the roof.
- The company has been cited several times since 2011 for similar violations.
- As a result of the latest pair of repeat violations, the company was fined $96,027 and placed in the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Falls are the leading cause of worker injury and death on the job site, with fall-related violations leading to 359 out of 899 deaths in construction alone in 2014.
In the past three months, companies in New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, and Massachusetts were cited for creating fall-protection hazards, with many as repeat offenders, indicating that many companies are not taking fall protection seriously. These companies end up on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which, according to OSHA, targets employers that continually endanger workers through repeat violations.
In August, OSHA raised its maximum penalty by 78% in order to keep up with increases in the cost of living and to motivate companies to sharpen their focus on workplace safety. Still, critics of the increased claimed that OSHA was coming down on contractors that associate worker injury and death as "a cost of doing business."