Safety and OSHA News

Workers 25 feet up without fall protection: $108K OSHA fine

OSHA says these two companies failed to provide employees with the training, protection and tools required to safeguard them from the leading cause of death in construction: falls. 

The agency issued five violations to two companies, D.R. Horton Inc. and Garcia Carpentry LLC, after an inspection at a work site in Ocala, FL. OSHA inspectors observed employees installing roofing sheathing without fall protection.

D.R. Horton received one repeat citation for failing to ensure subcontractor employees were protected with a fall protection system when working from heights up to 25 feet.

To abate this violation, the employer must ensure that all employees working at elevations of six feet or more are protected from falls by a fall protection system.

Garcia Carpentry was issued a repeat citation for the same violation and another repeat violation for allowing workers to use the top step of a ladder to access and exit the roofing trusses. OSHA also cited Garcia with two serious violations for employees not wearing hard hats and for operating powered nail guns without eye protection.

Proposed penalties total $107,785: $68,591 for D.R. Horton and $39,194 for Garcia Carpentry.

“Four in 10 [construction] industry fatalities result from preventable falls,” noted Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, FL.

D.R. Horton is one of the largest home builders with about 4,000 workers in the U.S. Garcia Carpentry is a framing contractor based in Winter Garden, FL.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the violations to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest them to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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