OSEA Safety Blog

OSHA News Release - Region 5

Friday, February 3, 2017 osha.gov

Five companies face OSHA violations, $115K in fines after federal inspectors
observe multiple safety hazards at Lincoln construction site
Framers observed working without fall protection, a leading cause of construction worker death

LINCOLN, Neb. - The deadly fact is this: nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction industry are the result of a preventable fall. Yet, some employers continue to ignore the dangers and put their workers at risk of a debilitating or fatal fall.

FALLS are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Illustration showing fall fatalities per year: 255 in 2010, 255 in 2011, 279 in 2012, 291 in 2013, and 337 in 2014.

As the construction industry continues to grow, falls continue to be the leading cause of death. Source: http://www.bls.gov.

At an apartment complex construction site in Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found construction contractors jeopardizing the safety and health of workers. The agency’s inspection resulted in citations for five companies working at the three-building complex.

Federal safety investigators observed seven workers employed by East Framing Inc. of Grimesland, North Carolina, exposed to fall hazards up to five stories high while they did framing work at the site in the 1800 block of P Street.

In addition to East Framing, OSHA cited South Georgia Framers of Statesboro, Georgia, for willfully exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards. The agency cited ProCon Construction Services LLC of Ailey, Georgia, and America’s Best Siding of Fort Collins, Colorado, for exposing workers to hazards on the site. Inspectors also cited Aspen Heights of Austin, Texas, the controlling employer contractor on the project.

"A worker’s life can be forever altered or ended in the seconds it takes to fall,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Controlling contractors and subcontractors have a responsibility to protect workers on its construction sites from falls which cause four out of 10 workplace fatalities in the construction industry. More tragic than that is the reality that these falls are preventable.”"

Following its December 2015 investigation, OSHA has issued citations as follows:

  • East Framing Inc., subcontracted for framing work, faces $65,450 in fines for one willful and three serious safety violations. View citations here.
  • South Georgia Framers faces fines of $33,000 for one willful violation and three serious violations. View citations here.
  • America’s Best Siding of Fort Collins, Colorado, was issued six serous safety violations and faces proposed penalties of $9,100. View citations here.
  • Aspen Heights faces proposed penalties of $4,500 for three serious violations. View citations here.
  • ProCon Construction Services LLC, faces $3,150 in proposed penalties for three serious violations. View citations here.

Federal safety and health officials are determined to reduce the numbers of preventable, fall-related deaths in the construction industry. OSHA offers a Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page provides fact sheets, posters and videos that illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.

The ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. Begun in 2012, the campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use gear properly.

Each company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Omaha area office at (402) 553-0171.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Source: www.osha.gov

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