The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited an Ohio-based contractor “with a long history of disregarding workplace safety standards.” According to an OSHA news release, federal inspectors observed roofing workers employed by Charm Builders “at dangerous heights without fall protection” at a worksite in Wheeling, West Virginia.
As the news release describes, OSHA inspectors arrived at the worksite in response to a complaint from the workers themselves. What inspectors found was the contractor’s employees working at heights up to 28 feet without required fall protection. Inspectors issued Charm Builders six egregious-willful violations, five repeat violations, and one serious violation. The violations allege that the contractor failed to ensure workers used fall protection, failed to provide fall hazard training, permitted the unsafe use of portable ladders, and failed to ensure workers wore safety glasses, according to the news release. The violations propose $1.09 million in penalties.
In a statement about the fall hazard violations, OSHA official Doug Parker said, “It is unconscionable when construction contractors put workers at risk and undercut law-abiding companies by failing to invest in basic, life-saving protections… We will use all of our available legal powers to hold accountable employers like Charm Builders who continually put people in serious jeopardy.”
These were not the first findings of unsafe working conditions at a Charm Builders worksite. According to the news release, the contractor—which does roofing and siding work in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia—has been cited for fall hazards by OSHA on 12 occasions since 2009, and has been placed on the agency’s list of “severe violators.” A November 2021 report by the Wheeling News-Register describes one of those previous citations, which found that Charm Builders “failed to insulate or de-energize power lines, train workers properly, provide and require use of fall protection and ensure proper use of a portable ladder.” These failures reportedly resulted in an incident in which a roofing worker “was electrocuted and paralyzed following a fall on the job.”