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An Ohio plaster and masonry contractor is facing $131,440 in proposed penalties from federal regulators after two investigations found employees were exposed to fall hazards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued four willful and three serious citations against Leavittsburg, Ohio-based B & B Plastering on Dec. 10 following OSHA complaint investigations at separate Ohio construction sites, according to an agency press release issued Wednesday.
In September, investigators observed employees working from scaffolds and exposed to falls of up to 24 feet at a Niles, Ohio, construction site. In October, employees were observed working on scaffolds and exposed to fall hazards of up to 16 feet at a Canfield, Ohio, construction site. In both instances, B & B Plastering failed to provide guard rails or fall protection equipment, according to the release.
The company also failed to provide a ladder or other safe means to access the working platforms of the scaffold, install adequate footings and failed to ensure employees wore head protection when required, according to the agency. B & B Plastering was cited for similar hazards in 2010.
“Falls remain the leading cause of death and injury on construction sites,” Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland, said in a statement. “In the past year, 26 Ohio workers died in falls. It is inexcusable for an employer not to provide fall protection on a job.”
Owner Benny Brown said he was the owner of the business, but did not give his name said he received no warning about the citations after OSHA inspected his worksites and expressed surprise at the size of the proposed penalties.
“That seems like they just bought my company,” he said. “That’s an awful steep penalty.”
Fashion retailer Forever 21 Retail Inc. has agreed to pay $100,000 and pledged to eliminate hazards at a Connecticut store as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor.