In the past eight years, Proframing Contractors Inc. was cited for 10 violations when it allowed employees to work on roofs without fall protection and then refused to pay the majority of its associated penalties from OSHA. On Oct. 24, 2014, OSHA inspectors again observed three company employees who worked at heights of up to 20 feet without fall protection on a commercial building in Gahanna. As a result, the Pickerington-based company was cited for two willful, two serious and one repeated safety violation. Proposed penalties total $68,200.
"Proframing Contractors has shown repeatedly that it does not value the safety of its employees. There is no excuse when it comes to providing the necessary equipment to keep workers safe," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry, and many fatalities occur when a worker falls from a height of 10 feet or less."
Basic protection lacking
OSHA determined that on-site workers did not use basic protection, such as guardrails, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems, while they installed roof framing and sheathing, a violation of OSHA's construction safety standards. A second willful violation was cited for Proframing Contractors' failure to train employees on fall hazards and procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Employees also were observed using a nail gun without eye protection. The company was cited previously for this violation in 2012 at a work site in Dublin.
In addition, a serious violation was cited for workers exposed to struck-by hazards from a damaged powered industrial vehicle used to move materials.
OSHA maintains a Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to create a plan to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly. The campaign launched in 2012. It was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health andNIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program.