NH Contractor Faces $91,000 OSHA Fines For Fall Hazards

Concord, NH (CompNewsNetwork) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a total of $91,000 in fines against Summer and Winter Construction LLC, a Pittsfield, N.H., roofing contractor, for alleged fall hazards at worksites in Hanover and Manchester, N.H.

OSHA opened inspections at 80 Lyme Road in Hanover and 605 Front St. in Manchester after its inspectors observed Summer and Winter Construction employees performing roofing work without fall protection at both locations. The inspections found workers exposed to falls ranging from 16 feet at the Manchester site to three stories at the Hanover site. OSHA previously had cited the contractor in November 2006 for fall hazards at a Concord worksite.

"The sizable fines we've proposed reflect the serious and recurring nature of these fall hazards," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "Improperly utilized fall protection equipment is just as deadly as failing to use fall protection at all. Workers who lack adequate and effective fall protection are just one slip, trip or misstep away from a potentially fatal plunge."

As a result of its inspections, OSHA has issued Summer and Winter Construction one willful citation, with a proposed fine of $70,000, for allowing employees at the Hanover site to work atop a roof without fall protection and with improperly rigged lifelines and improper equipment; and two repeat citations, with $8,000 in fines, for lack of fall protection at the Manchester site and an extension ladder that did not provide safe access to the roof at the Hanover site.

The contractor also has been issued eight serious citations, with $13,000 in fines, for lack of fall protection training, improperly worn body harnesses, an ungrounded power saw, no safety glasses for employees using nail guns in Manchester, two employees tied off to a single anchorage point, a defective ladder, employees working beneath the suspended load of an unattended fork truck and riding without seatbelts in the back of a pickup truck in Hanover.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. Serious citations are issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education.

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