Safety and OSHA News

12th inspection in 6 years: OSHA fines construction company $1.5 million

Saying it “demonstrated indifference towards the safety of their employees,” OSHA has issued $1,523,710 in fines to a Florida construction company. 

Roofing contractor Great White Construction Inc., based in Jacksonville, faces 14 violations.

On Feb. 3, 2017, an OSHA inspector observed employees working on a multi-story building in St. Augustine without using proper fall protection. The employees wore harnesses but weren’t tied off to the rope grabs and roof anchors.

After noticing other Great White employees working under similar conditions at a nearby site, OSHA opened a second inspection as part of its regional enforcement program for falls in construction.

OSHA issued 11 separate willful citations for failing to protect employees from fall hazards under its egregious citation policy, which allows the agency to issue per-instance violations (one for each employee affected). Great White was also cited for three repeat violations for failing to ensure employees used eye protection while operating nail guns and for ladders used to access roofs which exposed employees to additional fall hazards.

Great White “made no reasonable effort to eliminate the [fall] hazard,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer.

The company is now in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to high-gravity willful, egregious violations related to fall hazards. Companies in the SVEP can count on follow-up OSHA inspections.

OSHA has inspected Great White 12 times since 2012 and issued 22 citations related to improper fall protection, ladder safety and eye protection.

Great White specializes in residential and commercial roofing and has about 150 employees.

The company can agree to the citations, enter into talks with OSHA or contest them to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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