The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has levied a fine of $53,900 against M. Durrance Construction of Jacksonville, Florida, for exposing workers to dangerous falls. The violation was uncovered during an October inspection conducted under the framework of the Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. OSHA's Region IV includes the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.
At a worksite in Orange Park, Florida, workers were performing roofing operations atop a 16-foot pitched structure with no fall protection. M. Durrance was under contract to Lever Rock Construction to build a residence in the OakLeaf Plantation community. OSHA recorded a single willful violation, meaning that the company was negligent despite being aware of existing regulations. The large fine is a result of the same constructor having already been cited for a similar violation in October 2013.
"This isn't the first time we've found dangerous fall hazards at this company's work site," stressed Brian Sturtecky, director of OSHA's Jacksonville area office. "Failure to fix these problems proves how little regard M. Durrance has for the safety of its employees. These blatantly unsafe acts put workers at risk of serious injury or death. Not only is it wrong for this company to ignore this risk, it is illegal."
Situations like this can be avoided through appropriate construction safety training. Everybody involved in a construction project, from management to the workers, should be aware of current safety legislation and should be able to identify and, more importantly, rectify potential hazards. Certified safety professionals can provide the necessary instruction to ensure that companies remain compliant and that workers' well-being is not compromised.