The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines against a Wisconsin roofing contractor for up to $112,000 due to the company allowing employees to work at dangerous heights without proper fall protection equipment.
Affordable Exteriors LLC, located in Bloomer, Wisc., had its safety precautions reviewed during an investigation earlier this year by OSHA, which uncovered a plethora of issues associated with the company’s safety procedures. OSHA cited numerous violations, including two violations, one repeated violation and three serious safety citations. Most of the issues at the company’s various residential sites had to do with the lack of fall protection, including hard hats and safety glasses.
The biggest issue OSHA is having with Affordable Exteriors is that it appears the company essentially is not taking the safety agency’s demands seriously enough. OSHA and Minnesota OSHA cited the company last year for similar problems at residential sites in both Marshfield and Duluth, Minn. Even in 2013, the company faced citations and penalties from OSHA, but the agency says the company never responded appropriately to resolve them.
“Many people have told Affordable Exteriors to use fall protection – OSHA, Minnesota OSHA and the job-site contractor. The company ignored them. That’s a reckless disregard for safety. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction injury. Three Wisconsin workers died last year from job-site falls,” Robert Bonack, OSHA’s area director in Appleton, said in a news release about the company’s alleged negligence.
Affordable Exteriors now has 15 business days from the receipt of the OSHA citations to either comply, contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, or request an informal conference with OSHA’s Appleton area director to try and work out a compromise.