A Lemont-based roofing contractor has been cited with four federal safety violations for failing to protect workers from falls at two separate job sites.
Woodridge Enterprises, Inc. faces proposed fines totaling $54,120 for the violations, which occurred at job sites in Hinsdale and Carol Stream, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
An inspection Feb. 29 at a residential site in Hinsdale found two repeat violations involving a failure to provide fall protection on a scaffold higher than 25 feet and provide fall protection for workers engaged in construction activities, according to an OSHA press release.
A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in February 2010 and March 2009 at sites in Elmhurst and Hinsdale, according to the release.
Woodridge Enterprises was also cited with a "serious violation" for failing to have a ladder that extends at least 3 feet above the landing surface. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known, according to OSHA.
A second inspection was opened March 7 at a commercial roofing job site in Carol Stream. Woodridge was cited with another serious violation for not providing sufficient fall protection to workers on a low-slope roof.
Prior to the two inspections earlier this year, the company had been inspected five times since 2003, resulting in citations for lack of fall protection and other hazards, according to the release.
Edgar Navarro, a representative for Woodridge Enterprises, responded to the citations via email Tuesday.
"Woodridge Enterprises has been in business for almost 25 years and through its dedication to employee safety, has never experienced a death or a serious injury," Navarro said. "It is standard operating procedure for Woodridge to provide proper training and safety equipment for our employees who can recognize hazards and administer careful and safe use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection safety systems and other equipment used on the job. While Woodridge respectfully disagrees with the citations issued by OSHA, their classifications and proposed fines, we are taking and have taken steps to resolve this matter, including repeating training for employees and reemphasizing the need to follow established safety procedures and use the safety equipment provided."
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to "ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance," according to the release.
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a new campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry.
“Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Failing to provide fall protection places workers at risk for serious or fatal injuries,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in North Aurora. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so.”
Woodridge Enterprises has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, according to the release.