OSHA finds Ohio contractor exposing residential construction roofers to deadly fall hazards for 6th time in 3 years

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MEDINA, OH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Millersburg contractor – with a history of not cooperating with federal safety inspectors – for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards for the sixth time in three years– while fall protection equipment remained unused at a Medina residential work site.

On April 28, 2021, OSHA inspectors observed roofers employed by JMH Roofing LLC working up to 24 feet off the ground. The agency issued two willful, two repeat and two serious violations. OSHA cited the company and owner, Jonas Hershberger, and proposed penalties of $136,453. OSHA requires the use of fall protection at heights greater than 6 feet.

OSHA inspectors also found the five-person crew working without required eye, face or head protection. Inspectors determined JMH Roofing lacked an effective safety and health program and failed to audit work sites for safety hazards and ensure compliance.

“Fall hazards make roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction. Yet too often, OSHA inspectors respond to reports of workers without protective gear and find safety equipment on-site but not in use,” explained OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “When an employer requires employees to work from heights, they must provide fall protection and appropriate equipment, and train workers to use the equipment safely.”

OSHA cited JMH Roofing LLC for similar hazards in February 2021, June 2020 and May 2018. The agency cited RAM Roofing LLC, also owned by Hershberger, in April and September 2019, which resulted in penalties of $137,441. Hershberger has refused to respond to the citations, provide abatement or pay penalties.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in 2019 that 1,061 construction workers died on the job, 401 of them in falls from elevation. In Fiscal Year 2020, fall protection in construction was the standard most frequently cited by OSHA inspectors.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and proper safety procedures.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Learn more about OSHA.

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