Roofing contractor Juan M. Garcia Martinez has been cited for four willful safety violations for exposing workers to fall hazards at two separate residential home sites in Tuscola. OSHA has proposed penalties of $48,400 for the recent citations. The company was cited twice in March 2014 for similar violations.
Contractor "has not cooperated"
"Martinez has not cooperated with OSHA during previous inspections and continues to fail to fix real hazards at its job sites" said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria.
Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry.
Heights greater than nine feet
On June 9, an OSHA compliance officer observed four employees working without fall protection on a residential roof on Beecher Drive. On June 27, another six workers were observed working without fall protection at a residential home on Carico Street. In both instances, the workers were at heights greater than nine feet. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be used when workers perform construction activities above six feet from the next lower level.
Martinez was cited for two willful violations at each location for failure to provide fall protection and to develop an accident prevention program at the work sites. Failing to provide required fall protection is one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. OSHA regulations require the use of a recommended means of fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems.
OSHA has created a Stop Falls 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's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which 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 prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use that equipment properly.
Martinez, based in Villa Grove, has 15 business days from receipt of his citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.