The 14-year-old who installs roofing materials suffers serious injuries in the fall
West Farmington, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – A 14-year-old boy who was working on the roof of a Berea townhouse with no fall protection required suffered serious injuries when he fell 20 feet to the ground. Immediately after this serious incident, the company owner and three other employees put on personal fall protection devices to complete the roofing work to hide the fact that fall protection was not in use at the time of the injury. The equipment was on site in the employer’s job trailer when the boy fell.
Melvin Schmucker, owner of Double M Roofing & Construction LLC, tried to hide the company’s safety flaws. However, footage from a nearby surveillance camera revealed that the boy and three other employees were working without fall protection equipment on December 17, 2020.
Sixteen days later, U.S. Department of Labor and Health inspectors observed how Schmucker and four Double M employees in Hinckley installed roofing materials on a residential roof more than 22 feet above the ground – again without the required fall protection.
After inspecting both construction sites, OSHA proposed fines to the West Farmington contractor of $ 73,533 and issued quotes for two deliberate, three serious, and one other than serious violations of OSHA’s safety standards. The agency found that the company allowed employees to work without falls and face shields, did not train employees about fall hazards, and did not report the injury to OSHA as required.
“All too often, OSHA inspectors, responding to reports from roofers without fall protection, discover that the employer has the safety equipment on site and is refusing to ensure that it is used,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA area director in Cleveland. “Due to the risk of falling, roof work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry. OSHA requires fall protection when working at heights greater than 6 feet. “
To raise awareness of these dangers, OSHA and construction industry stakeholders will join forces on May 3-7, 2021 for the National Safety Standstill to Prevent Falls in the Construction Industry.
OSHA encourages employers to use their online resource, Stop Falls, which has detailed information on fall protection standards in English and Spanish. The website offers fact sheets, posters and videos illustrating various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
The company has 15 working days after receiving its quotes and penalties to meet requirements, request an informal conference with the OSHA area manager, or challenge the results to the Independent Occupational Health and Safety Commission.
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