On March 30, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that a Fort Walton Beach, Florida, framing contractor has been cited a sixth time since 2021 for not complying with OSHA standards for fall and eye protection and other hazards. Panhandle Guest Design Inc. now faces new proposed penalties totaling $82,500 following the agency’s three most recent inspections.
OSHA cited the employer for two repeat violations at a Santa Rosa Beach worksite on October 6, 2022, for failing to ensure employees used fall protection while performing roofing activities and had eye protection while working with nail guns. The agency also cited Panhandle Guest Design for two serious violations for not properly training workers in the safe operation of powered industrial trucks and for failing to ensure employees wore hard hats while conducting framing activities.
In two subsequent inspections on October 25, 2022, at another Santa Rosa Beach worksite and on October 26 in Inlet Beach, OSHA inspectors identified three repeat and two serious violations for not complying with federal safety standards for fall and eye protection.
OSHA cited Panhandle Guest Design twice in October 2021 and once in September 2022 for similar safety issues involving fall hazards and a lack of eye and face protection.
“When employers like Panhandle Guest Design Inc. repeatedly ignore established safety regulations, the likelihood of serious injuries or worse increases significantly,” Jose Gonzalez, OSHA’s Mobile, Alabama, area office director, said in an agency statement. “Without proper protective equipment, this employer’s workers are exposed to deadly falls and possible blindness. No excuse justifies risking employees’ safety and lives.”
Contractor cited in fatal fall at Florida airport
On October 25, 2022, a 59-year-old roofer working atop a Milton, Florida, airport hangar fell through a skylight and dropped 25 feet to the concrete floor below. The injured roofer died 4 days later.
Morrison, Tennessee-based Porter Roofing Contractors Inc. now faces $53,797 in proposed OSHA penalties for four serious violations, the agency announced March 31.
OSHA opened an inspection at the Peter Prince Field Airport and determined that Porter Roofing Contractors failed to ensure the 13-member crew working on the roof that day used required fall protection. The skylight was being prepped for removal as part of the project.
The agency also found that the company failed to regularly inspect jobsites, materials, and equipment, exposing workers to electrical, struck-by, and fall hazards, as well as failed to report a work-related employee hospitalization to OSHA within 24 hours.
“Porter Roofing Contractors made a fateful decision to overlook federal fall protection standards and it cost a worker their life,” Gonzalez noted in another agency statement. “Falls are a leading cause of serious injuries and death in the construction industry. There simply is no excuse for a company not to make sure every worker is equipped and trained properly.”
OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard remains its most frequently cited standard year after year. The agency cited the standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1926.501) 5,260 times in fiscal year (FY) 2022.