Mass. Employer Cited for Violating Fall Protection Safety\r\nStandards

OSHA cited Capeway Roofing System Inc., Westport, Mass., and\r\nproposed penalties totaling $119,000 for safety violations at a fire\r\nstation construction project.

OSHA cited Capeway Roofing System Inc., Westport, Mass., and proposed penalties totaling $119,000 for safety violations at a fire station construction project in South Weymouth, Mass.

According to Brenda Gordon, OSHA area director for Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts, the alleged violations were uncovered during an OSHA inspection.

She noted that the inspection took place on April 24, and revealed that employees of Capeway Roofing Systems, who were constructing the roof of the station, were completely unprotected from falls of over 20 feet.

"This was a very hazardous work site situation," said Gordon, "created by an employer who is well aware of OSHA''s fall protection safety standards, since the employer has been cited for similar violations before. It''s unfortunate when any employer fully aware of applicable safety requirement willfully does so. That''s why we are citing Capeway Roofing Systems for alleged willful and repeat violations, as well as serious and other violations of OSHA''s fall protection requirements."

Specifically, the company is being cited for:

  • requiring employees to work on a steeply pitched roof between 21 to 26 feet above the ground with no fall protection;
  • failing to protect employees walking and working on low sloped roofs from falls ranging from over 6 feet to over 20 feet;
  • creating over-head hazards and fall hazards by storing roofing materials and equipment within a few feet of roof edges;
  • failing to train employees to recognize the hazards of working on roofs and failing to train them in the use of fall protection systems;
  • failure to require employees to wear hard hats on construction project;
  • failure to replace personal fall arrest equipment with badly rusted hardware.

The company has 15 working days to comply or contest the citation.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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