The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Middlefield, OH-based A&W Roofing $307,824 for three willful and two serious safety violations on a residential job site in Pittsburgh.
The company was cited for failing to provide fall protection to employees working on a steep sloped roof at heights of up to 40 feet. OSHA also said the company failed to ensure workers wore hard hats while shingles were being installed overhead, and that ladders weren't properly extended.
- OSHA launched its investigation earlier this year after a complaint was filed claiming that A&W employees were working without fall protection. This is the fifth time in two years that the company has been cited and penalized by OSHA for exposing workers to fall hazards.
This latest case comes as OSHA intensifies its crackdown on fall-protection violations, which remain the leading cause of death on construction sites, accounting for 359 out of 899 construction-related deaths in 2014.
The inspection of the Pittsburgh site was part of the agency's locally focused program targeting fall hazards in construction. OSHA said the violations in the A&W case were due to the company's lack of an effective health and safety program, while fall protection training was not provided.
The agency continues to find new ways to tackle the issue. This summer, it increased the maximum civil penalty payout by 78% for all violations to comply with a federally mandated rate rise. Under the increase, which went into effect on Aug. 1, OSHA raised its maximum penalty for serious violations from $7,000 to $12,471 and the fine for willful and repeated violations from $70,000 to $124,709.
Another measure that the agency recently rolled out is its Severe Violators Enforcement Program, under which companies that are placed in the system are more likely to see a rise in investigations and enforcement.
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