SUAMICO, WI – After an Overhead Solutions LLC manager attended an on-site training discussion on fall hazards on May 25, 2023, federal workplace safety inspectors observed the company’s employees working about 30 feet above ground on a Menasha apartment complex roof without adequate fall protection. Thirteen days later, an inspector observed a project manager employed by Overhead Solutions LLC of Suamico hand out caffeinated energy drinks to subcontractors on a 10-foot-high roof in Appleton, a kindness undermined by the fact that workers lacked fall protection and the manager did not correct the hazard and protect them from the construction industry’s leading cause of death. In both situations, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened inspections. At the Menasha site, inspectors found employees wearing fall protection harnesses and anchors installed on the building’s roof with ropes attached to the anchors, but readily accessible lifelines were not attached as required. Inspectors also found employees exposed to deadly fall hazards as they unloading a pallet raised to the roof by a mechanical lift. In Appleton, OSHA inspectors found a lack of fall protection, learned the company had no documented accident prevention plan and noted the site’s project manager did not correct fall protection hazards in plain view. The company received citations for four repeat violations and one serious violation of federal fall protection standards. The repeat violations are similar to those for which OSHA cited the company in Neenah, Seymour and Wrightstown in 2022.OSHA has assessed the company with $180,469 in proposed penalties. “Overhead Solutions’ continued willingness to ignore federal safety regulations is putting its employees and subcontractors at risk of potentially serious and fatal injuries,” explained OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton, Wisconsin. “By failing to ensure fall protection equipment is used properly and train workers and supervisors to recognize hazards and safety procedures, the company continues to invite disaster.”The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,015 construction workers died on the job in 2021, 379 of them related to falls from elevation. Exposure to fall hazards makes residential construction work among the most dangerous jobs. OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures. The company 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.Learn more about OSHA.
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