Fatal Fall Leads to $42,000 in Fines

A worker falls 37 feet to his death, prompting OSHA to issue $42,000 in fines.

Failure to supply fall protection to workers at an Andover, Mass., job site has resulted in $42,000 in proposed fines against a local roofing contractor, following an accident Oct. 12, 2001 in which a roofer fell 37 feet to his death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited A. & M. Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc. for an alleged willful violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

OSHA's inspection found that no fall protection had been provided for the deceased worker or other employees working on the roof. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

"This accident could have been avoided if a personal fall arrest system or an equivalent form of fall protection had been in place and in use," said Richard Fazzio, OSHA area director for Northeastern Massachusetts. "The company knew about this requirement, because it was previously cited by OSHA for the same hazard."

OSHA cited A. & M. Roofing & Sheet Metal in September 1999 for failing to provide fall protection at a Reading, Mass., job site.

A. & M. Roofing & Sheet Metal has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

edited by Sandy Smith

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