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Fall hazards endanger W. Va construction workers

OSHAOSHA has cited Roger Shortridge Construction, based in Mt. Lookout, for one willful and two serious violations at a Tridelphia, W.Va work site. OSHA initiated an investigation in March after a compliance officer observed fall hazards while conducting an inspection of another contractor at the work site. Proposed penalties total $47,400.

The willful violation is failing to ensure that employees use fall protection when working on a steep roof.

The serious violations involve failing to initiate and maintain a safety and health program, as well as to ensure the use of eye protection.

"Fall hazards are a leading cause of death in the construction industry, and therefore it is critical that employers provide workers with proper fall protection," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office.

In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed. OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.

Roger Shortridge Construction, which employed five employees at the work site, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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