OSHA cited Case Development LLC for serious and repeat violations at the site of a Norman, Okla., apartment complex, with a proposed fine totaling $90,600. OSHA found the company failed to protect workers from dangerous falls and other serious hazards.
"Workers who work at heights are at risk for serious injury or death if they fall," said David Bates, OSHA's area director in Oklahoma City. "To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection, such as safety harnesses."
The inspection was initiated under the agency's Regional Emphasis Program on construction fall hazards. Two repeat violations, with a fine of $77,000, were cited for failing to protect workers in aerial lifts from falls and failing to require fall protection for workers conducting residential construction. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations during a July 2009 inspection in Tulsa and a March 2010 inspection in Oklahoma City.
Two serious violations, with a fine of $13,600, were cited for failing to ensure workers exposed to overhead hazards wore head protection and that ladders were used in a safe manner. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA's fall prevention campaign provides employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about preventing falls when working from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. It was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program.
Case Development has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.