Premier South Roofing will contest just about $250,000 in federal consequences over a employee’s demise from a fall in April and disputes an allegation that the corporate didn’t heed warnings about protection practices that may have averted the fatality.
In a remark Monday, U.S. Occupational Protection and Well being Management officers stated Premier South “neglected federal protection inspectors’ February 2022 warnings that now not complying with required fall coverage requirements uncovered their staff to severe risks.”
OSHA officers added that inspectors discovered that the demise of a employee from a fall April 2 may just “were averted if protecting gadgets had been used.”
Premier South officers had to begin with declined to remark on Monday afternoon about OSHA’s feedback that day, however, in a remark past due Tuesday the outstanding regional roofing corporate flatly disputed the company’s declare.
Premier South officers contended company officers by no means communicated warnings prior to the demise of the employee, who they stated was once hired by way of considered one of Premier South’s subcontractors, however handiest realized of OSHA’s issues months later, on July 28, once they gained copies of citations for alleged place of work protection violations.
“Opposite to claims made prior to now, we offer protection apparatus to all our workers, in addition to subcontractors in want,” the corporate remark stated. “Moreover, Premier South strongly denies ignoring any protection warnings from the February second inspection, as no communications had been gained from OSHA referring to that inspection till the quotation was once issued just about six months later.”
The OSHA citations stem from company investigations of roofing paintings and alleged fall coverage and coaching violations tied to Premier South at two process places Feb. 2, 2022, and April 2, 2022.
On the latter process web site, a 22-year-old employee misplaced footing, stepped thru an open skylight and fell 30 toes. The employee died at a health center, OSHA officers have stated.
On Feb. 2, OSHA officers say their inspector noticed protection violations involving 5 Premier South staff on a roof with out ok fall coverage. The discovering brought on an inspection as a part of the company’s Regional Emphasis Program for Development.
A next inspection of the April 2 demise discovered the employee who died, and 5 different workers, had been uncovered to fall hazards on account of the failure to make sure required fall coverage at that process web site, OSHA stated.
Following an April inspection, OSHA cited Premier South for 2 repeat violations for failing to supply fall coverage and failing to ensure worker coaching. The corporate now faces $249,323 in proposed consequences.
Premier South officers say they’ve reviewed OSHA allegations and, in line with their very own inquiry, plan “to vigorously shield in opposition to allegations made, together with the characterization of the violations, in addition to the consequences proposed.”
“We strongly disagree with claims made on OSHA’s information unencumber and sit up for presenting info which display our dedication to the protection and well-being of all staff on our jobsites,” the corporate remark stated. “Merely put, we consider that the info don’t advantage the allegations made.”
Premier South Roofing officers stated the employee’s demise “has now not been taken flippantly.”
“Before everything, our ideas and prayers were with the friends and family of the employee who was once fatally injured on our jobsite,” they added. “Premier South stocks a venture with OSHA: A secure place of work for our workers and contractors.”
OSHA officers did not reply to a request for additional remark Wednesday.
Falls proceed to be a number one explanation for demise for employees within the development trade, OSHA officers say. In 2020, just about 35% of development fatalities in the US had been from falls, in step with federal employee information.
OSHA mechanically warns in opposition to the risks of falls and advises on its website online and incessantly in media statements about secure practices, together with using harnesses and different apparatus, to forestall falls.
Since Jan. 1, 2016, Premier South Roofing has been issued greater than $64,500 in OSHA fines over previous violations associated with missing fall coverage and secure ladder dealing with, in step with OSHA’s website online.
Neither Premier South nor OSHA has known the deceased employee or the positioning of the fatality on April 2. Premier South additionally didn’t establish the subcontractor who hired the killed employee.
Premier South Roofing operates in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, the north shore and different spaces of the state.
The corporate has about 200 workers who do residential and industrial roofing.