PA Contractor Faces $328K in Fall Protection Fines

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Originally Published by: OSHA — August 16, 2023
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Federal workplace safety inspectors have again cited a Wilkes-Barre roofing contractor for exposing employees to falls, this time as they worked on the roof of a commercial building in Honesdale.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed employees of Avila’s Roofing LLC working at heights of up to 27 feet in February 2023 without fall protection, in violation of federal workplace safety requirements. They also learned the company had not provided employees with effective training on fall hazards and allowed them to work without eye and face protection when potential risks of eye or face injury existed.

OSHA cited Avila’s Roofing for two willful and two serious safety violations and one other-than-serious violation. The violations carry $328,143 in proposed penalties.

“OSHA will not tolerate this company’s continued failure to protect its employees against potentially deadly and disabling hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Mary Reynolds in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work, and employers are legally required to plan ahead, provide workers with effective tools and training, and conduct frequent inspections to make sure jobs are done safely.”

In five inspections of Avila’s Roofing worksites in Honesdale and Scranton, OSHA has proposed $178,649 in penalties for repeated failures to comply with federal requirements for fall protection.

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.

OSHA’s website includes information on developing a workplace safety and health program that applies to all workplaces. OSHA also offers free work-specific tools. Employers can contact the agency for information about OSHA’s compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.

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