Cal/OSHA Cites Roofing Contractor for Repeat Fall Hazard Violations

San Diego—Cal/OSHA cited California Premier Roofscapes, Inc. for repeat violations
of fall protection safety orders and proposed $134,454 in penalties. The Escondido based
company was investigated and cited on six different occasions over the past four years for putting its workers at risk of fatal falls.

Cal/OSHA opened the most recent inspection in August of 2017 after receiving a report
that workers were not wearing proper fall protection while installing tiles on the roof of a three-story Chula Vista home. Inspectors found that California Premier Roofscapes
failed to ensure their workers were wearing safety harnesses and other personal fall
protection. Employees were not properly trained on fall protection and roof work
hazards.

  • “California Premier Roofscapes has repeatedly put its workers at risk of potentially
    deadly falls from heights, disregarding basic safety requirements to protect its
    employees,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.

Cal/OSHA issued citations to California Premier Roofscapes for four violations
including:

  • One repeat-serious violation for failing to ensure that workers were wearing fall
    protection.
  • One repeat general violation for failing to effectively implement and maintain a
    written Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
  • Two general violations for not inspecting equipment prior to each use and inadequate training on fall hazards and protection.

The first inspection with California Premier Roofscapes was opened in October 2014
after Cal/OSHA received a complaint that employees were working on an Irvine roof
with no fall protection. Cal/OSHA inspected a California Premier Roofscapes’ residential
construction site in Azusa the following day after receiving a complaint involving an
unsafe portable ladder. The following month, Cal/OSHA investigated an accident
involving a worker who suffered serious head and knee injuries after falling 15 feet from
a ladder attached to scaffolding at a Carlsbad residential construction site.

In June 2015, Cal/OSHA opened an inspection and cited California Premier Roofscapes
for a repeat serious violation after workers with no fall protection were reported on the
roof of an Irvine construction site. In March of the following year, Cal/OSHA inspected a
report that California Premier Roofscapes’ workers wore harnesses but were not
properly tied off to prevent falls from the roof of a Tustin construction site. California
Premier Roofscapes was cited for two repeat violations, one serious and one general
category.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction nationwide. In California’s roofing
industry, falls have caused nine deaths and 162 serious injuries since 2014.

A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm
could result from the actual hazardous condition. A repeat violation is cited when the
employer was previously cited for the same or a very similar violation and the earlier
citation became final within the past 5 years.

All employers in California are required to have an effective written injury and illness
prevention program, a safety program to identify, assess and control hazards in the
workplace. Cal/OSHA has online tools and publications to guide employers on how to
establish an effective safety program. Cal/OSHA’s resources on fall protection include
safety and health factsheets, residential fall protection training and a construction safety
pocket guide.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost
every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free
and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs.
Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation
Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in
English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’
Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish
on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with
Cal/OSHA district offices.

Source: https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2018/2018-28.pdf

Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Why is OSHA issuing this rule?

This simple change in OSHA’s rulemaking requirements will improve safety for workers across the country. One important reason stems from our understanding of human behavior and motivation. Behavioral economics tells us that making injury information publicly available will “nudge” employers to focus on safety. And, as we have seen in many examples, more attention to safety will save the lives and limbs of many workers, and will ultimately help the employer’s bottom line as well. Finally, this regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.

What does the rule require?

The new rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data will also be posted to the OSHA website. OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public. The amount of data submitted will vary depending on the size of company and type of industry.

UPDATED: How will electronic submission work?

OSHA has provided a secure website that offers three options for data submission. First, users are able to manually enter data into a webform. Second, users are able to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. Last, users of automated recordkeeping systems will have the ability to transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface). The Injury Tracking Application (ITA) is accessible from the ITA launch page, where you are able to provide the Agency your 2017 OSHA Form 300A information. The date by which certain employers are required to submit to OSHA the information from their completed 2017 Form 300A is July 1, 2018.

Anti-retaliation protections

The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, which can be satisfied by posting the already-required OSHA workplace poster. It also clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions become effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.

Compliance schedule

The new reporting requirements will be phased in over two years:

The anti-retaliation provisions become effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.

Covered establishments with 250 or more employees are only required to provide their 2017 Form 300A summary data. OSHA is not accepting Form 300 and 301 information at this time. OSHA announced that it will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to reconsider, revise, or remove provisions of the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” final rule, including the collection of the Forms 300/301 data. The Agency is currently drafting that NPRM and will seek comment on those provisions.

Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must submit information from their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.

See answers to more frequently asked questions on the rule.

Source: http://www.osha.gov (recordkeeping)

Department of Labor Cites GA Roofing Contractor For Exposing Employees to Fall Hazards, Proposes Penalties

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has again cited Jose A. Serrato, an independent roofing contractor based in Marietta, Georgia, for exposing employees to fall hazards at a worksite in Birmingham. The employer, who has been cited seven times in the past five years, faces $133,604 in proposed penalties.

OSHA conducted the investigation under the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction, and cited Serrato for exposing employees to fall hazards of approximately 28 feet, and for failing to re-train employees who did not demonstrate the skills necessary to recognize fall hazards.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring their worksites are free of recognized hazards,” said Ramona Morris, OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director. “This employer has continually exposed employees to fall hazards by disregarding federal safety requirements.”

Serrato has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Displaying safety posters signify a commitment to compliance. Our Safe Lifting, Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls Poster can be used in conjunction with the required safety training for your employees.