A few crew members, working on an excavation project for a Midwest concrete company, jumped on scaffolding to help their coworkers pour concrete. An OSHA inspector, driving back to the office at that moment, noticed the workers had failed to use proper fall protection.
The workers were exposed to falls of six feet or greater on scaffolding, so the inspector issued three serious citations to the company, with fines totaling $18,900. Given the seriousness of the violations, the penalties could have impacted the company’s ability to take on new jobs and, in turn, crippled its bottom line.
Company officials turned to Graphic Products for guidance. Jeff Woods, the company’s Safety Compliance Analyst, had more than a decade of experience working with OSHA and saw an opportunity to help.
Within 48 hours, Woods was at the construction site ready to provide his expertise. Over the next few weeks, Woods:
- Reviewed the company’s safety program
- Worked with the company to address roughly 30 potential violations he saw while inspecting the jobsite
- Assisted with the OSHA citation mitigation process
- Compiled documentation that outlined the company’s new and improved training efforts, and
- Met with OSHA officials to advocate for reduced penalties.
Woods found that employees failed to follow vital fall protection rules, even after the employer provided training. The company followed Woods’ recommendations and remedied the potential violations he saw in his initial inspection.
OSHA officials reclassified the citations as “other than serious.” The reclassification allowed the company to continue bidding on projects for clients whose policies prevent them from hiring companies with “serious” violations. “We were happy to explain the process and offer assistance however we could,” Woods said. “OSHA officials understood the circumstances, and the company has since worked toward a safer workplace.”
The service is part of Graphic Products’ Compliance Assessment Services. Services includes on-site consultation, training, and evaluation; electrical safety services; and recommendations for a safer workplace—each individually tailored to a facility's unique needs.