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Category Archives: Violations & Citations

Fall Protection Violations & Citations Blog Category for all articles relevant to fall protection violations and citations.  Learn more by visiting our website.

OSHA Considering Good Faith Safety Efforts

Operations at industrial facilities across the country have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are relying on many to maintain, even increase, their workloads to support the manufacture and distribution of essential needs and supplies. This increase in pressure and pace typically leads to an increase in workplace accidents, so safety remains a critical priority. Though enforcement activities are still in progress, OSHA is considering good faith safety efforts by employers on some elements of safety procedures.

OSHA Considering Good Faith Safety Efforts

In an enforcement memo released April 16, 2020, OSHA announced discretion in enforcement when considering an employer’s good faith efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. This discretion is meant for safety procedures affected by business closures, travel restrictions, visitor prohibitions, and group size limitations. These restrictions limit the availability of employees, consultants, or contractors who normally provide some safety services. During an inspection, OSHA Enforcement officials will assess an employer’s efforts to comply with standards that require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training, or assessments.

Employers are required to thoroughly exhaust all options to comply with the …
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OSHA Penalty Increases in Effect for 2020

OSHA penalty increases are in effect for 2020, raising 1.76% as of January 15th. OSHA has been adjusting penalty amounts to reflect inflation since Congress approved the adjustments in 2015.

OSHA Penalty Increases in Effect for 2020

As provided by the Inflation Adjustment Act, the increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after January 15, 2020. The maximum penalty amounts include:

  • $13,494 for Serious/Other-Than-Serious/Posting Requirements (per violation)
  • $13,494 for Failure to Abate (per day beyond abatement date)
  • $134,937 for Willful or Repeated (per violation)

“The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) is publishing this final rule to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the Department, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act). The Inflation Adjustment Act provides that agencies shall adjust civil monetary penalties notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Additionally, the Inflation Adjustment Act provides a cost-of-living formula for adjustment of the civil penalties. Accordingly, this final rule sets forth the …
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Six-Figure Penalties Continue from OSHA

Employers can expect to see more six-figure penalties in 2020 as a result of OSHA’s new enforcement weighting system that emphasizes inspections for four construction industry hazards. The updated weighting system now prioritizes inspections for fall hazards, caught-in or between hazards, electrical hazards, and struck-by hazards.

Six-Figure Penalties Continue from OSHA

Last week, OSHA announced it cited Action Roofing Services Inc for exposing employees to safety hazards at two Florida work sites, accumulating $146,280 in penalties. OSHA cited the contractor for failing to provide fall protection to employees installing roofing tile at both work sites. Citations also included improper ladder use and deficient training of recognizing and preventing fall hazard penalties.

In December alone, OSHA announced 12 six-figure penalties. In addition to the one previously mentioned, the citations were:

  • $191,895 – Mavis Southeast LLC (Mavis Discount Tire) – Georgia – fall, struck-by, and other hazards
  • $291,724 – CJM Roofing Inc. – Florida – fall and other hazards
  • $195,034 – Wright Metal Product Crates, LLC – Indiana – amputation, chemical and other safety hazards
  • $104,192 – Dollar Tree Stores – Alabama – Struck-by …
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Understand the OSHA Inspection Process

Ensuring compliance with OSHA standards is a critical element of the agency’s mission to keep workers safe. OSHA inspections were on the rise in 2019 and that trend is expected to continue into 2020 as they remain committed to using enforcement and compliance assistance to promote a safe workplace that benefits everyone. OSHA recently released a short video to help you understand the OSHA inspection process.

Understand the OSHA inspection process.

There are several reasons OSHA may visit you for an inspection:

  • Imminent danger situations
  • Worker fatalities
  • Hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye
  • Worker complaints
  • Referrals
  • Targeted inspections
  • Follow up inspections

OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers are experienced and well trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals. The Compliance Officer will arrive at your site and the inspection will begin with a presentation of their credentials. The inspection is a three-part process that includes an opening conference, a walk-around, and a closing conference.

During the opening conference, you will learn the reason for the OSHA inspection. The Compliance Officer will also explain the scope of the inspection, walk-around procedures, worker representation and the …
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Fall Protection Most Frequent Violation for 9th Consecutive Year

OSHA reports that fall protection continues to be the most frequent violation for the 9th consecutive year. Falls also remain one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry.

There were 6,010 Fall Protection – General Requirements 1926.501 violations, almost double of the number two violations category. The top 10 also included Ladder (1926.1053) violations in 6th place and fall protection training requirement violations (1926.503) in 8th place.

“Far too many preventable injuries and deaths occur on the job,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said in a Sept. 10 press release. “This list should serve as a challenge for us to do better as a nation and expect more from employers. It should also serve as a catalyst for individual employees to recommit to safety.”

Falls are preventable with commitment to a fall protection strategy that includes reviews, budgeting, equipping, and training.

Safety ReviewsSchedule an internal review that includes your Safety Manager, Foreman, and Supervisors. Walk your facility to inspect current fall protection systems and to identify new areas of need. Use this checklist to help identify hazards.

Budget & …
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OSHA Review Commission Procedures

The OSHA Review Commission is an independent federal agency, providing administrative trial and appellate review, created to decide contests of citations or penalties resulting from OSHA inspections of American work places. The Review Commission functions as a two-tiered administrative court, with established procedures for (1) conducting hearings, receiving evidence and rendering decisions by its Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) and (2) discretionary review of ALJ decisions by a panel of Commissioners.

The Commission made several technical amendments to the rules of procedure and they were published to the Federal Register on August 30, 2019.

Download the document here.

Manufacturer Fall Protection Citation

Last week there was a manufacturer fall protection citation issued to Howard Industries, Inc. by OSHA. The proposed penalty of $53,040 is for failure to protect workers from struck-by and fall hazards.

The accident which led to the investigation caused a fatality when an employee was performing a leak test on a transformer. The drive chain failed that was supporting the equipment.

According to OSHA Jackson Area Director Courtney Bohannon, regular inspections of equipment, training of employees on hazards and safety precautions are all part of keeping workers safe.

Willful OSHA Violations

A roofing company was found with two willful OSHA violations. The proposed fine for Brad McDonald Roofing & Construction is $274,215.

According to OSHA a willful is a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.

Brad McDonald was cited last year for failing to use guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems for workers on a house roof. The fine of $49,796 has not been paid and has since been sent to debt collection.

McDonald has been cited a total of 10 times for not providing fall protection to employees on roofs. However, none of them have been repeat violations. The only repeat violation from the company was for employee’s using pneumatic nail guns without any eye protection.

Rooftop fall protection is readily available via the FPS online store and available at many different price points. Please contact us if you need any assistance with purchasing fall protection for rooftop workers.

Fall Hazard OSHA Violation

In a press release early this week, Five Star Roofing Systems has been issued over $200k in fines for a fall hazard OSHA violation. The city is based out of Hartford City, Indiana and was performing commercial roof work in Lake Barrington, Illinois.

During the OSHA inspection, willful, repeated, and serious violations were found:

  • failure to provide head, face, and fall protection
  • improper use of warning lines during low-sloped roof construction
  • lack of guards on belts and pulleys
  • unsafe use of ladders
  • failing to designate a safety monitor

“This company has violated required safety standards repeatedly and placed employees at risk for serious injuries,” said OSHA’s Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus. “Employers must develop and implement safety procedures on every jobsite to ensure that employees are protected from falls and other workplace safety hazards.”

Per OSHA regulations the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA Fine Stands in Appeal

A construction company is ordered to pay their OSHA fine by the US Court of Appeals. The company, Altor Inc., and the president, Vasilio Saites were also found in contempt for not paying the $412,000 in fines assigned by OSHA. The citations included multiple willful fall protection violations.

Furthermore, the court ordered that if the company does not pay, Saites will be personally responsible for the full amount. They have 30 days to pay the fine or show the court that they are unable to.

“The U.S. Department of Labor will use all appropriate and available legal tools to ensure that employers are held accountable for their obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to help ensure that workplaces are safe and employers who violate the law do not gain an unfair economic advantage over law-abiding competitors,” said Solicitor of Labor Kate S. O’Scannlain.