A 30-year-old roofer's life was tragically cut short in November 2014 after a fall caused severe head trauma. The man was found unresponsive below a 32-foot extension ladder he was using to renovate a roof at a two-story building at Missouri's Whiteman Air Force Base. OSHA investigators found the victim's employer, Midwest Roofing, did not provide required fall prevention equipment. OSHA cited the company for six serious safety violations, and Infinite Energy Construction, the general contractor, for four serious safety violations related to OSHA fall standards.

“In mere seconds, a family was tragically altered forever,” said Barbara Theriot, OSHA's area director in Kansas City, Mo. "Companies that put their workers dangerously high above the ground are responsible for protecting them,"

The violations

The lack of fall protection led OSHA nspectors to cite Midwest Roofing for six serious safety violations at the multiemployer work site. Infinite Energy Construction, the general contractor on the site, was cited for four serious safety violations related to OSHA standards for fall protection.

OSHA inspectors found workers were not trained about fall protection equipment and standards or ladder safety and were not protected from falls greater than six feet. Inspectors also discovered that areas around the top and bottom of the ladder were not clear of materials.

The penalties

OSHA has proposed penalties of $29,400 to Rapid City, South Dakota-based Midwest Roofing and $19,600 in penalties to Infinite Energy Construction, based in Knob Noster.

To educate construction workers and employers about how to recognize fall hazards and reduce their risks, OSHA and its partners encourage all employees and employers who face workplace fall hazards to participate in this year's National Safety Stand-Down from May 4-15.

About  the National Safety Stand-Down

The newly launched National Safety Stand-Down website for 2015 provides details on how to:

  • Conduct a Stand-Down event for your company.
  • Obtain a certificate of participation.
  • Access free education and training resources, fact sheets and outreach materials in English and Spanish. Find free Stand-Down events open to the public.

The National Safety Stand-Down initiative was launched three years ago with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda and The Center for Construction Research and Training. Additional partners for this year's event include the American Society for Safety Engineers; National Safety Council; National Construction Safety Executives; U.S. Air Force; OSHA-approved state plans; state consultation programs; and OSHA Training Institute Education Centers.