Construction company cited for exposing workers to dangerous falls

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – M. Durrance Construction Inc. of Jacksonville was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to dangerous falls during framing work at a home on Hawthorn Way in Orange Park.

The October inspection was initiated as part of the agency's Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction, officials said.

They said OSHA has cited the company three times since 2010 for lack of fall protection. Most recently, OSHA issued M. Durrance a willful citation for failure to provide workers with fall protection at a work site in October 2013.

"This isn't the first time we've found dangerous fall hazards at this company's work site. Failure to fix these problems proves how little regard M. Durrance has for the safety of its employees," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "These blatantly unsafe acts put workers at risk of serious injury or death. Not only is it wrong for this company to ignore this risk, it is illegal."

OSHA issued one willful citation, with a $53,900 penalty, for allowing employees to conduct roofing operations on a pitched structure without fall protection. It exposed workers to falls of up to 16 feet, officials said.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

M. Durrance, a framing and siding contractor, was under contract with Lever Rock Construction to build a single-family home in the Oakleaf Plantation subdivision, officials said. M. Durrance has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalty to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.