Ohio Roofing Contractor Continues to Defy Federal Safety Requirements for Fall Protection — Occupational Health & Safety

Ohio roofer continues to defy federal fall protection requirements

Ohio roofer continues to defy federal fall protection requirements

The contractor was cited six times in five years for ignoring the biggest danger in the industry.

An Orwell, Ohio roofer continues to expose himself and his colleagues to the risk of injury by defying federal requirements to use fall protection and have PPE available on job sites, a recent inspection found. On April 20, OSHA inspectors found Neal Weaver and an employee of his roofing company, Grand Valley Carpentry LLC, without fall protection on a home roof nearly 20 feet above the ground.

OSHA quoted Weaver. In the past, he has not worked with federal safety inspectors under a previous company name, Dutch Heritage LLC, for exposing workers to fatal fall risks for the sixth time in five years. The agency issued two willful violations and proposed a $253,556 fine. Inspectors also found that the crew were not wearing proper eye protection while working.

“Too often OSHA inspectors find workers working on home roofs without fall protection and discover that their employer has the safety equipment on site and refuses to guarantee its use,” explained OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “The risk of falling makes roofing one of the most dangerous jobs in construction. Employers must ensure that workers working from heights over 6 feet are provided with fall protection and that they train workers to use the equipment safely.”

In December 2016, August and September 2018, November and December 2019, OSHA cited Dutch Heritage for similar hazards. Weaver has not responded to the citation, providing for reductions or paying fines, according to a press release. OSHA refers to its unpaid fines as a collection. Weaver changed his company name to Grand Valley Carpentry in December 2019.

In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 1,061 construction workers died on the job, 401 of them from falls from heights. In 2020, fall protection was the most frequently cited standard by OSHA during building inspections. OSHAs Stop Falls website provides safety information and video presentations in both English and Spanish to teach employees about hazards and safety procedures.

The company has 15 working days after receiving its quotes and fines to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.

About the author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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