OSHA cites Holmes County roofer for sixth time in three years | News

HOLMES COUNTY — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Millersburg contractor — who has not worked with federal safety inspectors in the past — for exposing workers to fatal fall risks for the sixth time in three years.

According to an emailed press release from OHSA, fall protection equipment remained unused at a residential workplace in Medina.

On April 28, OSHA inspectors observed roofers employed by JMH Roofing LLC working up to 24 feet above the ground.

The agency has issued two intentional, two repeated and two serious violations. OSHA named the company and its owner, Jonas Hershberger, and proposed fines of $136,453. OSHA requires the use of fall protection at heights greater than six feet.

OSHA inspectors also found that the five-person crew was working without the required eye, face or head protection. Inspectors found that JMH Roofing lacked an effective health and safety program and failed to monitor workplaces for safety risks and ensure compliance.

“The risk of falling makes roofing one of the most dangerous jobs in construction. All too often OSHA inspectors respond to reports of workers without protective equipment and find safety equipment on site but not in use,” explains OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland.

“If an employer requires employees to work at heights, they must provide fall protection and appropriate equipment, and train employees to use the equipment safely,” Eberts said.

OSHA named JMH Roofing LLC for similar hazards in February 2021, June 2020, and May 2018. The agency named RAM Roofing LLC, also owned by Hershberger, in April and September 2019, resulting in fines of $137,441. Hershberger has declined to comment on the quotes, discount or pay fines.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in 2019 that 1,061 construction workers died on the job, 401 of them from falls from heights. In fiscal 2020, construction fall protection was the standard most frequently cited by OSHA inspectors.

OSHA’s stopfall website provides safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to educate employees about hazards and proper safety procedures.

The company has 15 business days from receiving the citations and fines to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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