BISMARCK, N.D. - L & L Brendel Construction and Front Street Millwork & Lumber of Bismarck, South Dakota, companies were cited by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration after a 22-year-old was seriously injured in fall.
Federal safety inspectors reported the firms for failing to protect workers from fall hazards of up to 18 feet. The location of the accident was a residential home construction site on February 21.
OSHA is particularly concerned about falls in work since they are the leading cause of death in the construction industry annual fatalities rising as construction increases: 255 in 2010, 255 in 2011, 279 in 2012, 291 in 2013, and 337 in 2014.
OSHA says it received a report that a 22-year-old worker, employed by Front Street Millwork & Lumber, suffered serious injuries when he fell about 20 feet while using a blow torch to unthaw roofing materials at a home under construction. In a site visit Feb. 22, federal inspectors say they observed four workers employed by L & L Brendel Construction conducting roofing operations without fall protection systems.
“It is disappointing that the day following a serious fall injury, that L & L Brendel would fail to ensure its workers were using adequate fall protection to prevent further injuries at this site,” said Eric Brooks, OSHA’s area director in Bismarck. “Falls remain the leading cause of preventable death in the construction industry, accounting for 40 percent of construction fatalities last year. All employees working at a height greater than 6 feet must use lifesaving fall protection equipment.”
On April 11, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Bismarck Office issued L & L Brendel Construction LLC two willful safety violations for exposing workers to falls of 11-18 feet and failing to train employees on fall hazards.
Front Street Millwork & Lumber was issued one serious violation on March 23. OSHA proposed fines of $4,900 to the contractor, a full service employee-owned millwork and lumber company.
Both companies have 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.
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