OSHA Fines N.D. Contractor for Safety Hazards

April 6, 2005

The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited M.C. Roofing, Grand Forks, N.D., for exposing workers to fall hazards at two Grand Forks job sites. The agency is citing five alleged willful and four alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and proposing penalties totaling $172,600.

The citations were issued by the OSHA Bismarck area office following inspections conducted Oct. 7, 2004, at 575 Holzapple St., Grand Forks Air Force Base and Jan. 19, 2005, at 2950 10th Avenue N. in Grand Forks. OSHA cited the company for five willful violations with proposed penalties totaling $160,000. Alleged violations include failing to provide fall protection on a scaffold and failing to provide fall protection training for working on low-sloped roofs.

Four additional serious citations, with proposed penalties totaling $12,000, dealt with the firm’s failure to: fully deck the working levels of scaffolds; secure scaffolding; have a competent person supervising during scaffold erection; and provide scaffold training. The company also received a citation, with a proposed penalty of $600, for failing to maintain the OSHA injury log.

Since 1997, M.C. Roofing has reportedly been inspected by OSHA’s Bismarck Area Office nine times resulting in several citations for fall-related violations. Since 1998, Minnesota OSHA has conducted four inspections of the company resulting in nine violations for fall hazards. Additionally, the company was reportedly notified on three occasions by the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance Loss Prevention Division for specifically not providing fall protection for employees working close to the edge of roofs.

Fall hazards in construction have been targeted since 1983 through a special emphasis program at the Bismarck Area Office. Studies estimate that approximately 68,000 serious injuries and 100 fatalities occur every year from fall-related hazards. Falls are reportedly the leading cause of work-related deaths among construction workers nationwide.

M.C. Roofing has 15 working days from the receipt of the citation to request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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