New Hampshire roofer faces fines from OSHA

by lbanyay@solagroup.com

Litchfield contractor Michael Cahoon, who does business as High & Dry Roofing in Concord, N.H., has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for putting workers in danger of deadly and and disabling falls, most recently in Manchester.

A complaint of unsafe conditions at a roofing job at 541-548 Fox Hollow Way led OSHA inspectors to find High & Dry Roofing employees working at heights more than 20 ft. without fall protection and proper ladder safeguards. Two days later, inspectors returned and found the same hazards again. As a result, OSHA cited Cahoon for two willful violations of workplace safety standards.

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

OSHA’s inspection also identified four repeated violations for hazards similar to those cited in 2012 following OSHA inspections at High & Dry Roofing worksites in Hampton and North Hampton. These violations include:

  • Failing to provide fall protection for employees working on scaffolds
  • Lack of hard hats and eye protection for workers
  • Failure to guard the operating parts of an air compressor against contact

In addition, OSHA issued four serious citations for the following hazards:

  • Locating scaffolding too close to a live, 240-volt electrical line
  • Inadequate scaffold access
  • Using ladders on scaffold platforms
  • Failing to provide training to workers on fall protection

Proposed penalties total $152,460. The citations can be viewed here.

After its latest violations, OSHA has placed High & Dry Roofing in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.

Cahoon has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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