In the last 2 weeks, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued big citations against two Florida contractors. On August 29, OSHA cited Coastal Roofing Inc. for exposing employees to fall and other hazards at a St. Johns, Florida, worksite. The Jacksonville-based roofing company faces $105,283 in proposed penalties. OSHA investigated the company as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. and Coastal Roofing was cited for (1) failing to ensure employees utilized a fall protection system; (2) failing to ensure employees utilized eye protection; and (3) not extending a portable ladder 3 feet above the roof landing.
Two weeks earlier, G&H Underground Construction was cited $57,738 after an employee received a severe laceration to his neck when his concrete saw kicked back while cutting concrete pipe. OSHA’s St. Augustine cited the construction company for failing to provide eye and face protection, failing to train employees on operating equipment, and not inspecting equipment for damages and defects.
Is your company prepared for an unexpected accident, employee injury or OSHA visit to your construction site? Today, fall protection is a huge focus for OSHA and every contractor must know and adhere to the safety regulations affecting employees working at heights. Workers who work six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death from falls, and the OSHA construction standards require that fall protection must be used. OSHA has additional standards for scaffolding, use of ladders and working in aerial lifts and scissor lifts. Read more about OSHA’s fall prevention campaign, including training materials and fact sheets.
What is the six-foot rule in construction? OSHA Subpart M requires the use of fall protection when construction workers are working at heights of 6 feet or greater above a lower level. However, it also applies at heights of less than 6 feet when working near dangerous equipment, for example, working over machinery with open drive belts, pulleys or gears or open vats of degreasing agents or acids. Click here for the Fall Protection in Construction booklet.