The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has levied fines against New Jersey-based Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning and General Contracting of Massachusetts Inc. after a second incident involving a worker falling from a roof happened within the same year.
The first incident occurred on Nov. 29, 2015 when an employee fell 26 feet off a roof in Newton, and the second incident occurred in Lexington on Oct. 24, 2016 when a worker fell nine feet from a garage roof. The same company had already been cited for a similar event in March of 2014 as well that occurred in New Jersey.
An inspection by OSHA revealed that, in the incident that occurred in Lexington, the employee working atop the garage did not have adequate fall protection prior to his accident, and neither did his foreman, who was vulnerable to a fall from a much higher roof of 26 feet. OSHA fined Ned Stevens $68,591 in total for this violation.
As a result of the incident in Newton that occurred less than a year prior, OSHA levied $45,500 in fines for failing to ensure that employees had the proper safety equipment to safely perform their work duties. In this incident, once again, workers were working on tall rooftops without fall protection. Despite the conclusiveness of the investigation, Ned Stevens is contesting these penalties.
“This is a disturbing pattern – two falls, two incidents – in which this employer did not provide its employees with the proper and required safeguards. The seriousness of fall hazards cannot be understated,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 10 workers in Massachusetts died in falls in 2014. While the workers in these two incidents were not killed, the threat of death or disabling injuries was real and present. Ned Stevens must act to protect its employees against this common but preventable hazard at all its jobsites.”
Safety protection is not an option
If you are an employer that deals specifically with business that involves cleaning, installing or repairing gutters – which obviously will involve employees being exposed to the risk of falls – then providing safety precautions to prevent a serious injury (or death) while on the job is not just simply the right thing to do morally, it is a legal requirement under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Employers who fail to provide proper safety precautions to workers who work in hazardous conditions – such as high up on rooftops – will face serious financial penalties from OSHA, and can additionally face much steeper penalties in lawsuits from employees (or their family members) that are injured while on the job.
Falls from high places are consistently one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in the United States, and the stakes are too high to not properly equip workers who must perform duties under these conditions.
Let us fight on your behalf
If you or a loved one was injured or killed due to a serious fall at work because they were not given adequate safety protection – such as fall prevention gear – then you are entitled to file a claim against the employer who failed to provide a safe work environment.
Our team of legal professionals at Altman & Altman LLP have extensive experience litigating against negligent employers who cause harm to their employees, and we will fight for you to hold them responsible and secure the financial compensation you need to pay your hospital bills, pay for recovery costs and restore wages that were lost from being unable to work.
Call us for a free consultation today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7 and we don’t collect a penny unless you are successful in your claim.