Construction, EHS Administration, Enforcement and Inspection, Personnel Safety

OSHA Settles Violations in Fatal Fall

On June 22, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a settlement agreement in the case of a fatal fall on June 1, 2020. Industrial Insulation and Coatings LLC of Girard, Ohio, reached a settlement agreement with the agency to resolve litigation before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 In June 2020, OSHA investigated the fatal fall of one worker and serious injuries suffered by three others after they fell from a roof and scaffold at an indoor horse-riding facility in Mars, Pennsylvania. OSHA cited the employer with a willful violation of the construction industry fall protection standard.

OSHA inspectors determined that three employees of Industrial Insulation and Coatings were installing metal shingles on a steep-pitched roof at the riding facility when one of the workers lost his balance and fell from the roof. His fall caused two more workers to fall from the roof and a fourth, employed by another company, to fall from a ladder jack scaffold. OSHA inspectors found none of the workers was wearing required fall protection.

The agency also issued citations for two serious violations and one willful violation to John Bylar Construction of Spartansburg, Pennsylvania—the employer of the fourth worker injured. The company paid $18,000 in penalties.

During its investigation of the fall incident, OSHA discovered the deceased worker had slipped on the same roof a week before his death.

“Despite a near miss that occurred shortly before this tragic incident, Industrial Insulation and Coatings ignored their legal obligation to ensure workers used fall protection. Now one worker has lost his life, and three others have suffered serious injuries,” Department of Labor Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton III said in a statement.

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard (§1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited standard, cited 5,295 times in fiscal year (FY) 2021.

The settlement agreement between Industrial Insulation and Coatings and OSHA affirmed the citation, and the company agreed to pay $84,201 in penalties. Under the settlement agreement, the company also is required to implement enhanced abatement measures, which include ensuring all existing and newly hired managers and supervisors receive and complete 30-hour OSHA training and all existing nonmanagement and nonsupervisor employees receive and complete 10-hour OSHA training.

OSHA Issues $311K penalty for repeat, serious violations

On June 22, OSHA also announced it cited recycling company TAV Holdings Inc. for 3 repeat and 28 serious violations for continually exposing employees to hazardous chemicals at its Atlanta and Greenville, South Carolina, facilities.

This is the third time since 2019 that the agency has cited the company for similar violations. The agency has proposed $311,934 in penalties for safety and health violations cited in its most recent investigation.

An inspection in December 2021 found that TAV Holdings failed to provide workers with safety data sheets for all the chemicals used in the Atlanta facility and did not list the chemicals in the company’s hazard communication program. The agency issued citations for similar violations at the company’s Greenville site earlier in 2021 and at the Atlanta facility in 2019.

In its latest citations, OSHA alleged the employer failed to:

  • Install a fall protection system around unprotected sides of a pit.
  • Keep exit routes unobstructed, and post signs along obscured exits to show the correct routes.
  • Specify techniques to isolate energy sources on machines within the energy control (lockout/tagout) procedures.
  • Train employees on hazardous energy sources for equipment.
  • Provide guarding on rotating parts and in-going nip and pinch points on a drill press and conveyer.
  • Mark electrical panel circuits to indicate their purpose, and enclose an electrical control panel.
  • Provide audiometric testing or annual training on hazards associated with high noise levels, and provide hearing protection to some employees.
  • Conduct annual training on the use of respirators and fit tests for employees.