On Feb. 3, 2017, an OSHA inspector observed employees of Great White Construction, Jacksonville, Florida, removing shingles and plywood sheeting from the roof of a multistory residential structure in the city’s Crescent Beach area without the use of proper fall protection. Although the employees wore harnesses, OSHA says, they were not tied off to the rope grabs and roof anchors. After noticing other Great White employees working under similar conditions at a nearby site, a second inspection was initiated immediately as part of OSHA’s regional enforcement program for falls in construction.
OSHA cited Great White with 14 violations and proposed penalties totaling $1,523,710. OSHA has investigated the company 12 times since 2012 and issued 22 citations related to improper fall protection, ladder safety and eye protection. Because of these previous violations, the agency issued 11 separate willful citations for failing to protect employees from fall hazards. OSHA also cited the company for three repeat violations for failing to ensure employees used eye protection while operating nail guns and for ladders used to access roof sites, again exposing employees to fall hazards.
“In the past five years, Great White Construction’s series of willful, serious and repeat violations has demonstrated indifference towards the safety of their employees,” says OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer. “The company allowed their employees to work without fall protection and made no reasonable effort to eliminate the hazard.”
Because of these investigations and citations, Great White is now in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to high amounts of violations related to fall hazards.
Great White specializes in residential and commercial roofing. The company’s workforce consists of approximately 150 employees. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.