An Ohio roofing contractor has been cited by federal workplace safety officials after a 14-year-old boy who was working on the roof of a Berea, Ohio, townhome without required fall protection suffered critical injuries when he fell 20 feet to the ground.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed $73,533 in penalties against West Farmington-based Double M Roofing & Construction LLC and owner Melvin Schmucker.
OSHA alleges that immediately following the incident Schmucker and three other workers put on personal fall arrest equipment to complete the roofing work in an apparent attempt to conceal the fact that fall protection was not in use at the time of the injury. The equipment had been in the employer’s job trailer onsite when the boy fell.
Schmucker attempted to hide the company’s safety failures, but footage from a nearby security camera showed the boy and three other employees working without fall protection equipment on Dec. 17, 2020.
Sixteen days later, OSHA inspectors observed Schmucker and four Double M employees installing roofing materials on a residential roof more than 22 feet off the ground in Hinckley – again without using necessary fall protection equipment, OSHA said.
In addition to the proposed monetary penalties OSHA issued citations against Double M for two willful, three serious and one other-than-serious violations of OSHA’s safety standards. The agency determined the company allowed employees to work without fall and facial protection, failed to train employees about fall hazards, and did not report the injury to OSHA,as required.
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.
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