MARS, Pa. — An industrial insulation contractor in Ohio entered into a settlement agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to resolve litigation prompted by the findings of a June 2020 investigation into the fatal fall of one worker and serious injuries suffered by three others after they fell from a roof and scaffold at an indoor horse-riding facility in Mars, Pa.
An OSHA investigation determined that three employees of Industrial Insulation and Coatings LLC were installing metal shingles on a steep-pitched roof at the riding facility when one of the workers lost his balance and fell from the roof. His fall caused two more workers to fall from the roof and a fourth, employed by another company, to fall from a ladder jack scaffold. OSHA inspectors found none of the workers wore required fall protection.
Investigators learned that the deceased worker slipped on the same roof a week before his death.
“Despite a near miss that occurred shortly before this tragic incident, Industrial Insulation and Coatings ignored their legal obligation to ensure workers used fall protection. Now one worker has lost his life, and three others have suffered serious injuries,” said Regional Solicitor Oscar L. Hampton, III in Philadelphia. “The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to enforce OSHA’s fall protection standards and, as this case demonstrates, will hold employers who fail in their responsibilities accountable.”
OSHA cited the company for a willful violation of the construction industry fall protection standard. Subsequently, Industrial Insulation and Coatings reached a settlement agreement with OSHA, affirming the citation and agreeing to pay $84,201 in penalties. The citation, as amended by the settlement agreement, became a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission on June 17, 2022.
“We can only hope a tragedy like this deters future violations by this employer and others and sends a message that failing to protect workers can cause irreversible harm and lead to significant financial and legal consequences,” Hampton, III said.
In addition to affirming the citation and penalties, the settlement agreement also requires the company to implement enhanced abatement measures, including ensuring all existing and newly hired management and supervisors receive and complete OSHA 30-hour training, and all existing non-management and non-supervisor employees receive and complete 10-hour OSHA training.
Separately, OSHA issued citations for two serious violations and one willful violation to John Bylar Construction of Spartansburg, Pa. — the employer of the fourth worker injured — for which the company paid $18,000 in penalties.
Based in Girard, Ohio, Industrial Insulation and Coatings LLC provides a full range of industrial insulation, scaffold, painting, and heat-tracing services to industries such as oil and gas, refineries, chemical, pulp/paper, concrete manufacturing, and food and beverage.