For the second time in one month, a builder based in Batavia, Illinois has been issued a series of citations by OSHA officials for exposing workers to fall hazards, according to federal regulators. Don Bosco was issued two willful citations, along with five serious citations, for a total proposed penalty of $162,000.
A Closer Look at the Violations
According to OSHA, in August 2015, one of its inspectors was at a work site in Wheaton when he observed Don Bosco workers setting up rafters without the proper fall protections – like safety nets or guardrails. Additional investigation revealed that these workers were at risk of falling:
- More than 14 feet, as a result of rafters not having protections around floor openings, as well as around windows and sides
- At the site’s stairways and landings, which lacked guardrails.
Workers were also exposed to the risk of electric shock, as there were no ground fault circuit interrupters and damaged extension cords were being used.
Commenting on OSHA’s actions against Don Bosco, Jake Scott, OSHA’s area director in North Aurora, has stated:
Don Bosco continues to ignore OSHA standards and is failing to protect its employees on the job… OSHA will continue to monitor this employer for compliance, and do everything in its power to keep workers safely out of life-threatening working conditions.
Falling Is a Major Threat to Construction Workers, OSHA Notes
In discussing the enforcement action taken against Don Bosco, officials noted that “falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for nearly 40 percent of construction fatalities in 2014.”
Consequently, OSHA requires fall protections to be provided to workers who engage in construction work at heights of 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
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