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OSHA cites roofing company for worker's death

Many people working in the construction industry are aware of the risks and dangers their career choice imposes on them. Heavy machinery, grueling temperatures, industrial power tools - construction accidents can occur at any time if employers are not informative and employees are not held to certain safety protocols. Even when proper procedures are being followed, the risk for injury is still readily apparent.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is tasked with ensuring that safety protocols are being followed and workers are receiving the safest workplace environment that can be provided, even in riskier industries like construction. That is why the federal workplace safety agency recently cited an Ohio company for allegedly failing to provide information that could have saved one of its workers lives.

Last summer, a 60-year-old man working for an Ohio roofing company was exposed to direct sunlight and eventually suffered from heat stroke. He was working on the flat roof of a commercial building on August 1, in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, when heat stroke set in. According to the company, the temperature for the day was a little more than 80 degrees. Three weeks later, the man succumbed to his workplace injury and passed away.

OSHA recently cited the company and has proposed a fine of $8,800. According to officials, the company failed to train workers in recognizing symptoms of heat-related conditions. It also allegedly failed to provide a program addressing such hazards. Because of these things, the company may be held liable for the man's death. Reports indicate that the roofing company is contesting the citations, stating that its safety program is comprehensive.

Though a situation such as this is not likely to happen during the winter - in Ohio, at least - there are many other types of injuries and safety hazards that workers and employers should be keen on. If an employer fails to address such hazards, officials may find themselves answering to federal regulators.

Source: Fox 19, "Ohio company contests citations after worker dies," Jan. 31, 2013

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