OSHA Proposes $113,000 In Fines After Employee Falls 24 Feet From Roof

Hartford, CT (CompNewsNetwork) - A West Hartford, Conn., roofing contractor faces a total of $113,200 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after an employee was seriously injured when he fell 24 feet from a roof. The accident took place on Nov. 17, 2008, at a residential construction project at 133 South Highland St. in West Hartford.

OSHA's inspection found that the employer, J.P. Carroll Construction Inc., failed to supply fall protection for employees working on the roof and that the aluminum ladder used to access the roof did not extend at least three feet above the roof's edge for required stability. The aluminum ladder also posed an electrocution hazard because it was located only 14 inches from an energized electric power line.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA has issued J.P. Carroll Construction Inc. three willful citations with $105,000 in proposed fines. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. OSHA previously cited the company in 2004 and 2007 for fall-related hazards at worksites in West Hartford and Hartford.

"This case is a graphic example of what can happen when basic, commonsense and legally required safeguards are ignored," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford. "Equally troubling was the placement of the aluminum ladder next to a live power line. This set-up left workers just inches away from death or disabling injuries."

The latest inspection also resulted in the issuance of three serious citations, with $8,200 in proposed fines, for a damaged scaffold, failing to have the scaffold erected under the supervision of a competent person and allowing debris to accumulate on work platforms. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health.

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