The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Waukegan contractor for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites.
$360,531.00 in Penalties
OSHA cited ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. for exposing its employees to deadly fall hazards at two locations in October 2021. An OSHA inspector first observed a foreman and two roofers employed by the contractor standing on top of a commercial building working at heights of up to 20 feet off the ground without adequate fall protection in Hoffman Estates, IL.
Ten days later, another OSHA inspector observed a crew of three working at heights greater than twelve feet without fall protection equipment atop a residential building in Waukesha, WI.
OSHA determined that ECS Roofing Professionals failed to equip the workers with adequate fall protection equipment, train them on its use, provide safe access to a ladder jack scaffold platform, and make sure that head and eye protection were used.
The agency issued one willful, four repeat, and eight serious violations. ECS faces proposed penalties of $360,531.00 for the deadly fall hazards in the two instances.
“In both of these incidents, the foreman left the site and directed others to do so when OSHA inspectors began asking questions about their safety procedures,” said OSHA’s Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Des Plaines, IL. “This defiant act demonstrates [the] company’s disregard for the safety and well-being of workers and the law. Fall hazards make roofing work among the construction industry’s most dangerous jobs and among OSHA’s most frequently cited safety hazards.”
Cited Seven Times for Deadly Fall Hazards
Since 2014, OSHA has cited ECS Roofing Professionals seven times for similar fall hazards at other job sites. The employer has failed to respond to OSHA’s requests for information, has not responded to citations from previous inspections, and has had $139,656.00 in unpaid penalties referred to debt collection.
“While ECS Roofing Professionals seems willing to ignore the dangers of falls and the potential for serious injuries or worse, OSHA will hold…roofing contractors accountable for failing to meet the requirements to provide safe working conditions,” said OSHA’s Area Director Christine Zortman in Milwaukee, WI. “Fall injuries and fatalities are preventable with the proper use of safety equipment and training.”
The company has fifteen business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,008 construction workers died on the job in 2020, with 351 of those deaths resulting from falls from elevation. Many others have been injured and sought the assistance of workers’ compensation attorneys.
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