How does a $274,000 fine sound?

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Most roofers wouldn't be able to survive an OSHA fine of $274,00. When I was contracting, there was no way, I could have ever taken a hit like that, and I am betting that even the largest contractors I work with would feel the sting.  The smaller companies would be put out of business and be paying this off for many years, if not the rest of their life. 

For McDonald Roofing and Construction in New Port Richey Fl, this is a reality; they are looking at a $274,000 proposed fine for "willful violations." Whats a willful violation you ask? according to OSHA, it's “a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”

Brad, the guy in charge at McDonald Roofing and Construction, was not providing his workers with proper fall protection of any kind. Something we see around here way too much, I might add. He already had a guy fall just last year (2018) and was hit with a fine of $49,796 and could not get that one reduced. He did not pay it either, and it's in collections now. 

These are for residential jobs, not big ole commercial jobs with lots of dollars. Can you imagine how many houses you would have a roof to pay this off, that's a fine of $49,796 and now a proposed fine of $274,000, wow! Just not going to happen, this might put this guy under, and he may be closing his doors. If not, he will be paying this off for a very long time, and I bet he has a different view on the cost of fall protection. Or maybe not, the guy was fined some nine times or more for the same things. No fall protection, ladders, no eye protection, and so on. 

And he has it easy; there are several other contractors recently who have been charged with manslaughter for a death on their site, due to a fall. 

I have very strong feelings on this matter of fall protection since I started doing consulting work and now working on this web site. I have been made acutely aware of the accidents, deaths, and cost of not having fall protection. The excuses, or reasons, I hear from roofers are just not sufficient, and most of the time a little ridiculous. The bottom line is that roofing is dangers, and you can die! So don't DIE, please! Sooner or later, folks, the hammer is coming down on us in Arizona will you be under it? 

Provide your workers with a safe work environment; it's not just a good idea; it's the law. 

1926.501(b)(2)(i)

Each employee who is constructing a leading edge 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.

Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.

By the way, ARCA provides FREE OSHA 10 training, and I think 30 as well if you are a member. If you are not a member and are roofing in Arizona, I suggest you join and take advantage of all they have to offer. Be sure to tell that Henry Staggs sent you. If you have a question, need help, anything at all that I can do for you. All you need to do is ask. 

 

Henry Staggs

Roof Consultant and Roofing Industry Advocate

www.preferredroofconsultants.com

(480) 265-1613

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