OSHA cites Wisconsin cleaning service company after window washer falls to death

Agency proposing more than $69K in penalties

Posted March 16, 2016

A 20-year-old window washer fell more than 58 feet to his death in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, because his safety lines were not properly tied off, federal inspectors found.

OSHA has cited the window cleaning company, for a total of one willful and eight serious safety citations following three separate investigations of company worksites in Appleton, Green Bay, and Oshkosh. The investigations were opened following the worker’s September 9, 2015, death.

OSHA’s fatality inspection found the rooftop rigger being used by the worker was not tied back to a separate anchor point and counterweights were not utilized prior to him going over the edge to clean a set of windows at a senior living property.

The agency cited the company for four serious violations for failing to use fall protection properly and train workers in fall protection systems used during drop work. OSHA also issued the company a hazard letter for not marking or tagging the ropes used on the rigger with the length, diameter, and date placed in service.

While investigating the fatality, inspectors found another worker had fallen on a job site in Green Bay on July 16, 2015. OSHA issued three serious violations to the company on January 12, 2016, for violating fall protection standards. The company has contested those citations.

On October 1, 2015, an OSHA inspector observed workers cleaning gutters on a residential roof in Appleton without fall protection. The company was cited for failing to provide fall protection on this site as well.

Citations for the Oshkosh and Appleton violations were issued to the company on March 7. Proposed penalties for all three inspections total $69,800.

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.


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