OSHA Fines North Dakota Contractor $172,600

OSHA has levied $172,600 in fines against M.C. Roofing of Grand Forks, N.D., for allegedly exposing workers to fall hazards at two Grand Forks job sites.

The agency is citing five alleged willful and four alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

"The violations resulted because the employer failed to provide adequate protection for employees exposed to fall hazards up to 20 feet above ground level," said Bruce Beelman, OSHA area director in Bismarck. "The employer knew of the fall hazards and failed to remove employees from those potentially life-threatening conditions."

The citations were issued by the OSHA Bismarck area office following inspections conducted Oct. 7, 2004, at Grand Forks Air Force Base and this past Jan. 19 at another work site in Grand Forks.

OSHA cited the company for five alleged willful violations with proposed penalties totaling $160,000. Alleged violations include failing to provide fall protection on a scaffold and failing to provide fall protection training for working on low-sloped roofs.

Four additional serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $12,000, dealt with the firm's failure to:

  • Fully deck the working levels of scaffolds;
  • Secure scaffolding;
  • Have a competent person supervising during scaffold erection; and
  • Provide scaffold training.

The company also received a citation, with a proposed penalty of $600, for failing to maintain the OSHA injury log.

Since 1997, M.C. Roofing has been inspected by OSHA's Bismarck area office nine times, resulting in several citations for fall-related violations, according to the agency. Since 1998, Minnesota OSHA has conducted four inspections of the company resulting in nine violations for fall hazards.

Additionally, the company was notified on three occasions by the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance Loss Prevention Division specifically for not providing fall protection for employees working close to the edge of roofs.

Fall hazards in construction have been targeted since 1983 through a special emphasis program at the Bismarck area office. Studies estimate that approximately 68,000 serious injuries and 100 fatalities occur every year from fall-related hazards, according to OSHA.

Falls are the leading cause of work-related deaths among construction workers nationwide.

M.C. Roofing has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to challenge them.

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