OSHA to fine N.H. roofer with record of skipping safeguards

A New Hampshire roofing contractor is facing $152,460 in proposed fines by federal regulators for exposing his employees to falls and other hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Litchfield, New Hampshire-based contractor Michael Cahoon, doing business as High & Dry Roofing, after an inspection found employees working at heights more than 20 feet without fall protection and proper ladder safeguards, according to a news release issued by the agency Tuesday.

A followup inspection two days after the initial one in June found the same hazards again, leading regulators to cite Mr. Cahoon for two willful violations of workplace safety standards, according to the release and citations.

The inspection also identified four repeated violations for hazards similar to those cited in 2012 after OSHA inspections at High & Dry Roofing worksites in Hampton and North Hampton, New Hampshire, including failing to provide fall protection for employees working on scaffolds, lack of hard hats and eye protection for workers and failure to secure the operating parts of an air compressor from contact, according to the release.

OSHA also issued four serious citations for placing scaffolding too close to a live, 240-volt electrical line; inadequate scaffold access; using ladders on scaffold platforms; and failing to train workers on fall protection, according to the agency.

After the latest violations, the company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which keeps an eye on employers who, according to the agency, have demonstrated indifference to their Occupational Safety and Health Act obligations through willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations.

“This is a repeat violator who knowingly and needlessly refuses to follow basic safety procedures,” Rosemarie Ohar Cole, OSHA’s area director for New Hampshire, said in a statement. “High & Dry Roofing employees face the risk of death or disabling injuries every time their employer denies them vital and legally required safeguards.”

Mr. Cahoon could not be immediately reached for comment.

 

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