On October 7, a Florida roofing company was cited by OSHA for alleged violations of fall protection standards at three job sites. The citation proposed fines of $339,900.00 according to an announcement by OSHA. The contractor announced on October 9 that it plans to cease operations because of the "increasingly strict regulatory scrutiny" from OSHA. The citations involved personal safety equipment such as fall protection systems and eye protection. The contractor stated in his announcement that he has attempted to follow OSHA's safety regulations, but he hasn't been able to force his employees across 4 or 5 work crews to use the harnesses and other safety equipment which the company has provided. The contractor stated that the only solution would be "to have some kind of policeman, a person from my company, on-site 24/7 to supervise the sites, which is impossible." The contractor stated that he met with OSHA representatives and found them unable to offer a viable solution to ensure worker compliance. Every construction job site is different. The personal protective equipment required in different construction operations is different. However, one thing which remains the same is the obligation of the employer to require employees to utilize company-provided personal-protective equipment. This development underscores how difficult such a requirement may be from an operational standpoint. However, this development may be used by contractors during in-service training with superintendents and foremen to underscore the need for employees to comply with personal-protective safety-equipment regulations.    
                                 By Bill Harding, Chapter Attorney