A New Hampshire roofing contractor with a history of fall safety violations has been hit with steep penalties for exposing workers to potentially fatal falls at worksites in Merrimack and Salem.

According to a release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Ridge Runner Construction LLC in Derry, N.H., exposed employees to falls of up to 20 feet as they installed shingles or performed roofing work, and worked on ladders that did not extend at least 3 feet above the roofs' edges for required stability. The agency said Ridge Runner also failed to provide effective fall protection training, ensure proper anchorage for lifelines and have a competent person inspect both worksites to identify and correct hazards.

Additional violations at the Salem jobsite included lack of eye and face protection for employees working with nail guns and fire hazards from an improper gasoline container.

OSHA cited Ridge Runner Construction for willful, repeat and serious safety violations, carrying a total of $234,741 in proposed penalties. OSHA previously cited the company for fall-related hazards at worksites in North Reading and Peabody, Mass., in 2021 and 2017.

"Ridge Runner Construction's continued failure to safeguard its employees against potentially deadly and disabling hazards is disturbing," said OSHA Area Director Joseph LaRose Sr. in Concord, N.H. "Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work, and employers must plan ahead, provide employees with effective tools and training, and conduct frequent inspections to ensure jobs are done safely."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 986 construction workers died on the job in 2021, with 378 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation.

Ridge Runner Construction LLC 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.

View the Merrimack and Salem citations.