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Ohio Roofing Contractor Faces $548K in Fines for Exposing Workers to Deadly Fall Hazards

September 19, 2023

On four occasions in less than three months in 2023, U.S. Department of Labor inspectors observed a Millersburg, Ohio roofing contractor again exposing workers to deadly fall hazards of up to 19 feet at four residential roofing job sites in Canton, Uniontown and Westlake, despite having fall protection equipment available on site.

Following its March, April and June investigations, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed $548,801 in penalties to JMH Roofing LLC, after identifying eight willful and two repeat violations. Jonas Hershberger operates JMH Roofing LLC and RAM Roofing LLC. The current citations continue Hershberger’s history of disregard for workplace safety regulations with numerous citations to these two companies since 2018.

“Jonas Hershberger continues his dangerous pattern of ignoring federal safety standards and exposing his workers to potentially serious and fatal injuries,” explained OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “JMH Roofing owns fall protection equipment and provides it to its workers, but refuses to require them to use it or cooperate with federal inspectors, who repeatedly inform Hershberger of his obligation to protect his company’s workers on the job.”

OSHA conducted the inspections in 2023 on March 9 and 28 in Uniontown, on April 19 at two sites in Canton, and on June 1 in Westlake.

At all worksites, inspectors observed roofing workers at heights greater than 6 feet without fall protection and lacking eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns. The company also allowed workers to work without properly extended ladders.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,015 construction workers died on the job in 2021, with 379 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation. Exposure to fall hazards makes residential construction work among the most dangerous jobs in construction.

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.

Source: OSHA

Topics Ohio Contractors

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