The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Kirberg Roofing Inc. of Kansas City, Kan., and Davila Sheet Metal Co. Inc., of Raytown, Mo., following an investigation of a Kirberg construction worker who fell about 40 feet to his death through a roof opening.

OSHA's inspection of the Kirberg Roofing worksite found two alleged willful and two alleged serious violations. While OSHA investigators were on site, they also found that Davila Sheet Metal had exposed its workers to fall hazards and cited that company with two alleged willful and one alleged serious violations.

"Falls are the number one reason workers performing construction work are hurt or killed. There is no excuse for an employer in the construction industry to not provide the necessary equipment and training for workers performing roofing work," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to provide a safe working environment for their workers and eliminate the potential for injuries and fatalities."

Kirberg Roofing's willful violations stem from the company's failing to provide workers with fall protection and to train workers performing roofing and steel erection work regarding fall hazards. OSHA issues a willful violation when an employer exhibits plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health. The company's serious violations stem from failing to determine the strength and structural integrity of the walking/working surface employees were using and to provide a warning line system. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which an employer knew or should have known.

Davila Sheet Metal's willful violations stem from the company's failing to protect and train the workers from fall hazards. The serious violation is for failing to determine the strength and structural integrity of the walking/working surface employees were using.

Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.

OSHA has proposed $150,000 in penalties against Kirberg and $145,000 in penalties against Davila. Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Kansas City, Mo., or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.