December 15, 2016
BOISE, Idaho – Brandon Horine’s first day at work removing shingles from a residential roof in Nampa was also his last. Without required fall protection equipment in place, the 42-year-old worker fell to the ground on Sept. 12, 2016 – suffering severe brain trauma that ended his life several days later.
Investigators with the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Horine’s employer, RP Construction failed to prevent the man’s death by ensuring fall protection equipment was used. The agency also cited the Nampa-based contractor for not training new workers before roof tear-off and re-roofing activities took place. The worker’s death, OSHA says, is the result of an all-too-common occurrence.
“The number of employers in Idaho’s residential construction industry that consistently fail to protect their workers from falls hazards is very troubling,” said David Kearns, OSHA’s area director in Boise. “Brandon Horine’s death is a tragic reminder of what happens when employers do nothing to protect their workers. Employers must stop gambling with workers’ lives and change the way they operate before an OSHA inspection or before another worker dies needlessly.”
View citations here.
Falls account for nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction industry, making falls the deadliest of all industry hazards. Sadly, falls are wholly preventable with proper safeguards. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
In its determined effort to reduce preventable, fall-related deaths, the agency offers an Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page provides fact sheets, posters and videos that illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
The ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. Begun in 2012, the campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers and train employees to use gear properly.
RP Construction 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.
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