Fleming Island company facing federal fine

Clay Today
Posted 2/24/16

JACKSONVILLE – A Fleming Island roofing company faces federal fines for alleged workplace safety violations that put workers at risk, according to an investigation.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration …

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Fleming Island company facing federal fine

Posted

JACKSONVILLE – A Fleming Island roofing company faces federal fines for alleged workplace safety violations that put workers at risk, according to an investigation.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration lodged a $53,900 fine against John Whigham Sheeting Inc. of Fleming Island in a citation and accompanying report issued Feb. 17.

According to the report, the company was working with other construction-related firms on a construction site in Mandarin when the violation occurred. OSHA described the conscious act of not providing workers with safety systems as a “willful violation.”

OSHA cited John Whigham Sheeting for not protecting workers with safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems while performing construction work higher than six feet as required by OSHA regulations. The report goes on to state that John Whigham workers “were exposed to falls of approximately 9 feet.”

OSHA officials state that this is not the first violation by the Clay County company.

John Whigham Sheeting was also investigated in April 11, 2014 concerning what OSHA described as “a willful-serious violation” at a home site in the 300 block of Trellis Bay Drive in St. Augustine. OSHA officials presented the final order for this alleged violation on June 25, 2015.

The report goes on to state that John Whigham Sheeting had also previously committed a similar violation on December 12, 2013 at a worksite in the 100 block of 9th Avenue in Jacksonville Beach, a violation deemed “serious” under OSHA guidelines.

“To abate this violation, the employer must ensure that all employees wear appropriate fall protection or install a guardrail or safety net system when an employee works 6 feet or more above lower levels,” states the OSHA citation.

OSHA is also requiring John Whigham Sheeting to develop a written plan explaining how the company plans to comply with the federal statutes governing workplace safety, including how it plans to protect employees from “fall hazards.” OSHA is giving John Whigham Sheeting until March 14 to comply with the citation and pay the penalty.

Ezzo Construction LLC, S.A. Robinson Construction and KB Home Florida LLC were also cited in connection with the same Mandarin worksite as John Whigham Sheeting. Ezzo Construction and S.A. Robinson were each issued a repeat citation and KB Home a serious citation for the same violation that exposed workers to falls up to 18 feet.

“Florida home builders must understand that successful project management requires safety and production schedules as equally important,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “Unfortunately, this inspection is another example of multi-layers of construction management turning a blind eye to safety in the name of production.”

Meanwhile, the total fine lodged against all four companies involved in the Mandarin investigation is $144,830. This inspection fell under OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction.

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Jacksonville Area Office at 904-232-2895.

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