An Illinois-based roofing contractor with a history of multiple federal workplace safety violations has been cited once again by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to fall hazards as they completed residential framing work.

According to a release from OSHA, inspectors in Savoy, Ill., observed employees of Elmer Miller — operating as Miller Building Systems LLC standing, climbing and walking about the roofs, beams and top plates while framing homes without any protection from falling, sometimes at heights greater than 18 feet above the ground at the Prairie Meadows subdivision on June 26 and July 26, 2023.

Federal inspectors were reportedly "met with hostility" when they approached the worksite. OSHA cited three willful and four serious violations and proposed $278,452 in penalties due to both inspections. The agency cited the company for lack of fall protection and not providing a means of egress from the roof. 

OSHA currently has five other inspections with Elmer Miller that the agency opened in August, October and November 2023. 

“Preventable falls remain the construction industry’s leading cause of death and injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Edward Marshall in Peoria, Ill. “Elmer Miller’s repeated failure to follow federal workplace safety rules shows a disturbing disregard for his employee’s lives and well-being.”

In the past decade, OSHA has cited Miller and companies he operates 20 times, including repeat violations and willful violations, and assessed more than $900,000 in penalties, most of which has not been paid. Most of the violations relate to the contractor’s failures to protect workers from potentially deadly fall hazards while building roofs. 

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,069 construction workers died on the job, with 395 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation. Exposure to fall hazards makes residential construction work among the most dangerous jobs in construction.