Safety and health violations at a residential construction site in Woburn, Massachusetts have resulted in OSHA issuing $79,000 in proposed fines to a North Reading roofing contractor. After an OSHA inspection discovered employees working on a two-story roof without fall protection and with ladders that did not extend at least a yard above the upper landing surface, the company was issued two willful citations, carrying $56,000 in proposed fines. A willful citation is defined as when a safety violation is committed with indifference to or intentional disregard for employee’s health and safety.
In addition to two willful citations, OSHA also issued the roofing contractor 14 serious citations for several scaffold hazards including lack of fall protection, unsecured ladders, lack of head, eye, and face protection for employees exposed to overhead hazards. Those fines amounted to $23,000. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards which the employer knew or should have known about.
As OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties pointed out, “It takes only one slip or misstep to turn a construction site into an accident scene.”
The company has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.