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OSHA Cites Ohio Company After Worker Paralyzed on Job

WHEELING — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited an Ohio construction contractor after a roofing worker was electrocuted and paralyzed following a fall on the job.

OSHA cited Charm Builders, Ltd., of Millersburg, Ohio, for one willful, three repeat and three serious citations. It found the company failed to insulate or de-energize power lines, train workers properly, provide and require use of fall protection and ensure proper use of a portable ladder. OSHA has proposed $214,900 in penalties.

According to the OSHA investigation, a roofing worker suffered electrical burns after making contact with an overhead power line while atop a Wheeling commercial building, and then fell about 11 feet to the ground. The impact caused spinal injuries that left the worker paralyzed from the waist down.

“Ensuring that fall protection is used and power lines are de-energized are safety measures employers are required to implement to protect roofing workers,” said OSHA Area Director Prentice Cline in Charleston, West Virginia. “A worker has suffered a life-altering injury, which could have been prevented if this employer had followed the law.”

In business since 2004, Charm Builders Ltd. is a residential and commercial construction contractor providing roof, gutter and siding installation, and storm damage repair. The company serves greater Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

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.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work in the U.S., accounting for 320 deaths out of 1,008 construction fatalities in 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. OSHA provides useful information on protecting roofing workers and the required use of fall protection in construction.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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