Homebuilder Exposes Workers to Dangerous Falls

Ocala, FL – Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) observed employees installing roofing sheathing without fall protection, and cited the companies with five safety violations. This inspection is part of the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction.

D.R. Horton was issued one repeated citation for failing to ensure subcontractor employees were protected with a fall protection system when working from heights up to 25 feet. Garcia Carpentry received a repeated citation for the same violation and an additional repeated for allowing workers to use the top step of a ladder to access and exit the roofing trusses.

OSHA also cited Garcia with two serious violations for employees not wearing hard hats and for operating powered nail guns without eye protection.

OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, Brian Sturtecky, said: “Four in 10 industry fatalities result from preventable falls. The consequences of not being prepared and complacent can lead to disaster. Employers must be diligent and demand safe work practices on all job sites.”

According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In 2013, there were 291 fatal falls to a lower level out of 828 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable. The three steps in OSHA’s fall prevention program are:

  • Plan;
  • Provide; and
  • Train.

Jules Griggs, President and CEO of Safety Unlimited, Inc., SUN News parent company, says: “It is shocking to me just how many contractors throughout the US are not educated on the requirements of OSHA – and this includes contractors who have been in business 20-30 years.  As a licensed contractor in the State of California, I understand why this occurs.  Many contractors typically are only faced with these requirements when they bid larger projects and learn about all their responsibilities under OSHA.”