In January, inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found four Apex employees installing shingles on a house without the proper fall protection equipment. The workers could have fallen more than 25 feet, and were found not to be following fall anchor-point installation requirements as well as violating ladder safety regulations. Apex has been cited for fall violations seven times at various Illinois job sites since 2010. That may seem like a lot, but OSHA recently cited a New Jersey contractor, Berlin Builders, for fall protection and other hazards, calling the company a "serial violator." The firm has been in business for a little more than a year, but has been the subject of 23 OSHA investigations in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with proposed fines of more than $600,000. OSHA, which has made fall violations a priority, says 40 percent of construction worker deaths can be attributed to falls. Federal rules require fall protection be used when workers are 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
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