Ohio contractors face fines for exposing workers to fall hazards
In June 2022, federal safety inspectors observed C.R.H. Roofing LLC, Middlefield, Ohio, exposing workers to deadly fall hazards at two job sites in Tallmadge, Ohio, and Columbia Station, Ohio, according to osha.gov. The company is not an NRCA member.
Following its investigations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed $363,890 in penalties for C.R.H. Roofing after the agency identified four willful and two repeat violations during inspections June 3 and June 9, 2022. At both worksites, inspectors observed roofing workers at heights greater than 6 feet without fall protection and lacking eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns. The company also allowed ladders to be used improperly.
After three previous inspections in 2019 and 2021, C.R.H. Roofing faced more than $51,000 in penalties, which remain unpaid. With the additional penalties, the company now owes more than $414,000 in OSHA fines. OSHA has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
In a separate case, for the eighth time since 2016, federal safety inspectors found the owner of Altogether Roofing LLC, Martin, Ohio, exposing roofing workers to fall hazards by failing to provide fall-protection equipment and hazard training.
The company and its owner, Mike Krueger, now face $300,144 in penalties after an OSHA inspector observed eight employees working at heights up to 20 feet without fall protection while atop a Maumee, Ohio, residence June 22, 2022. The company is not an NRCA member.
Following the inspection, OSHA cited the contractor for three willful, one repeat and one serious violation for exposing workers to fall hazards, failing to use ladders correctly, lacking an accident-prevention program, failing to provide training on ladder usage and fall hazards, and failing to provide eye protection.
“Altogether Roofing shows a callous disregard for the safety and well-being of its workers and continues to expose them to the risks of serious, debilitating and potentially fatal fall injuries,” says OSHA Area Director Todd Jensen in Toledo, Ohio. “This employer and others who continually put people in jeopardy can face our full legal powers to hold them accountable.”
The companies each had 15 business days from receipt of the citations 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 stop falls website, osha.gov/stop-falls, offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures. NRCA also offers products, education and training programs that help you implement and maintain a safety program that achieves results. Visit nrca.net/safety to learn more.
Temporary final rule is issued to provide additional visas
On Dec. 12, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor issued a temporary final rule allowing eligible employers to apply for 64,716 visas for the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker program for fiscal year 2023. The fiscal year is from Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2023.
Previously announced in October 2022, the additional H-2B visas will supplement the 66,000 visas authorized annually by law. The supplemental visa allocation of about 44,700 visas is available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were otherwise granted H-2B status during one of the previous three fiscal years. The remaining 20,000 visas are reserved for nationals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras, regardless of whether they are returning workers.
NRCA had urged the federal agencies to issue these additional visas and is pleased with the administration’s action to release them earlier than previous years, which will help employers meet their peak workforce needs. NRCA will continue to urge Congress to increase the number of H-2B visas on an annual or permanent basis to help roofing contractors meet their seasonal workforce needs.
The temporary final rule was published in the Federal Register Dec. 15, 2022.