OSHA Enforcement ActivityA roofing worker in Piasa, Illinois fell 27 feet to his death on Aug. 4th, 2014 because his employer, Mid-State Construction & Roofing Inc., failed to provide fall protection, according to OSHA.

The 33-year-old worker, who’d been employed by the Beecher City-based company for 14 years, was installing wood blocking to create a finished roof edge on the perimeter of a high school gymnasium. While using a battery-powered, hand-held impact driver, the bit broke and the employee lost his balance and fell over the edge, suffering blunt force trauma.

OSHA cited the roofing company for one willful and four serious safety violations.

Falls are the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry.

OSHA cited Mid-State Construction for failure to provide adequate fall protection, train workers in its use and conduct regular inspections of the work site and equipment. Mid-State Construction also was cited for not properly maintaining a warning-line system as a means of fall protection for the five employees working on the roof. Proposed penalties are $42,600.

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.