OSHA's new fall prevention wallet cardFor the fifth time in five years, Miller Building Systems LLC has been cited by OSHA for exposing workers to fall and overhead hazards. In a bit of numeric irony, proposed penalties total $55,000.

An OSHA inspector observed two employees applying sheathing on April 9 while doing roofing work on a residential home under construction in Savoy, Ill. The workers had no fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems. And employee working at ground level was also at risk, since he was exposed to overhead hazards from the roofers and lacked adequate head protection.

History of violations

"Miller Building Systems has a significant history of violations and has shown consistent reluctance to enforce basic safety standards to protect workers from falls," said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria.

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and lack of fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA standard.

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.

Info for employers and workers

OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls 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's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which was started in 2012, was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. The campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to plan for fall prevention, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly.