December 14, 2016
ANDOVER, Mass. – An employee of Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning and General Contracting of Massachusetts Inc. was injured when he fell 9 feet from a garage roof in Lexington on Oct. 24, 2016. It was the second such incident in Massachusetts in less than a year for the New Jersey-based company that specializes in cleaning gutters and roofs. On Nov. 29, 2015, another employee fell 26 feet from a roof in Newton.
An inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that the employee working in Lexington atop a garage at 21 Adams St. lacked fall protection as did his foreman who was exposed to a 21-foot fall from the roof of the adjacent house. As a result, OSHA has now cited Ned Stevens for a repeat violation of fall protection requirements and proposed $68,591 in fines for that violation. In March 2014, the agency cited the company for a similar hazard at a northern New Jersey worksite.
“This is a disturbing pattern – two falls, two incidents – in which this employer did not provide its employees with the proper and required safeguards. The seriousness of fall hazards cannot be understated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 10 workers in Massachusetts died in falls in 2014. While the workers in these two incidents were not killed, the threat of death or disabling injuries was real and present. Ned Stevens must act to protect its employees against this common but preventable hazard at all its jobsites,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.
In the Newton case, OSHA cited Ned Stevens in April 2016 for two violations, with $45,500 in fines, for failing to ensure the use of protective equipment when the workers went atop the roof and not guarding two skylights through which the workers could also have fallen. Those citations and penalties are currently under contest.
Headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, Ned Stevens provides gutter cleaning, repair and installation and other services in 11 states, most on the Eastern seaboard as well as in Illinois and Texas. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Andover Area Office at 978-837-4460.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov .
# # #