The Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has penalized Springfield, Massachusetts contractor Advanced Tree Services after one of their employees died when he fell off a roof while clearing snow. Many are saying the fines are stiff - but a worker lost his life and the contractor is alleged to have broken several OSHA guidelines.
By law, the company was required to report the death of Jimi Lee Gibb within eight hours. When they did not, the family of the deceased contacted OSHA and an investigation promptly began. This infraction alone cost the company $600.
OSHA Penalties Assessed Against Contractor
In addition to the failure to report penalty, OSHA assessed other penalties against Advanced Tree Services, including $4,200 for failure to protect their employees while working on a roof that was nearly 30-feet high. Typically companies have guard rails or require employees to wear personal fall arrest devices. Jimi Lee Gibb had neither. OSHA handed down a second $4,200 penalty because the company failed to provide employees with a "fall hazard training program".
The city of Springfield owned the building being worked on, but the city holds no responsibility because the work was done under contract by Advanced Tree Service. A spokesperson from the city claimed that they, too, had not been told of the accident until OSHA informed them.
What should you do if you are injured in a similar situation? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, you have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. If you do not feel you are safe, contact your local OSHA branch. You can file a complaint, and OSHA will confidentially investigate your situation.
It is too late for the family of Jimi Lee Gibb, but we can all learn from this unfortunate situation. Speak up for your safety.
Comments: Leave a comment