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Rochester, N.Y., Roofing Contractor Fails to Guard Workers against Fall Hazards

A Rochester roofing contractor's failure to protect workers against falls of up to 21 feet at a Greece, N.Y., jobsite has resulted in proposed OSHA fines of $57,800.

Upstate Roofing Inc. was cited for alleged willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act following an OSHA inspection on Sept. 11. OSHA began its inspection after employees were observed working without fall protection at the edge of a roof.

"Employers know that fall protection is required whenever workers work six feet or more above the next level, so the company faces a tough fine for the disregard for worker safety," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's Buffalo area director. "Falls are the number one killer in construction work."

OSHA issued a willful citation, with a proposed fine of $56,000, for the lack of fall protection. A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA Act and regulations.

A repeat citation, carrying a fine of $1,800, was issued for failing to supply safe access to the roof in the form of ladders that extended 3 feet above the upper landing surface. OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has previously been cited for a substantially similar hazard and that citation has become final. In this case, OSHA cited Upstate Roofing in May 2001 for a similar hazard at a North Chili, N.Y. jobsite.

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

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