The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has

cited Gleason Roofing Co. for six safety and health violations. These violations come as a

result of an inspection in March of 2014 at two New Britain work sites in response to employee

complains. These citations carry proposed fines in the amount of $294,000.

“These employees were one slip, trip or step away from deadly or disabling injuries. Their

employer knew this, yet chose to do nothing about it,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area

director in Hartford. “Falls are the most dangerous hazard in construction work, responsible for

the deaths of three Connecticut workers in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yet, falls are among the most preventable hazards, but only if employers supply and ensure the

use of fall protection. Failing or refusing to do so is gambling with workers’ lives.”

The citations are for failure to provide adequate fall protection, exposing employees to potential

falls of 16 and 10 feet due to inadequate ladders; exposure to falls while ascending ladders; and

possible electrocution from working close to power lines without adequate protection.

“Gravity doesn’t give you a second chance. If you fall and there is no effective fall protection in

place, the result could end your career or your life,” said Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA’s acting deputy

regional administrator for New England. “This is our message to employers: It is imperative that

you plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide your employees with the right equipment and

train them to use it properly. It is your responsibility.”

As you can see, OSHA is heavily fining employers for fall related citations, so if you are in

the construction industry, or if you have employees who work with ladders or who work at a

height, please ensure your safety and health procedures are updated and properly disseminated

to employees. If you need help with updating your safety and health procedures, please contact a

qualified third party occupational safety and health auditing firm to help. The time and cost now

will pay dividends in savings from an OSHA inspection.

If you have any questions about updating fall protection standards, or about occupational safety

and health in general, please contact us. If you have anything else to add about the importance of

updated standards, please leave a comment.