Driven by high prices for grid power, Hawaiians are turning to rooftop solar installation in droves. One result has been stepped up enforcement of fall protection requirements by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Half of the state's top 10 contractors have paid fines over the last five years. Enrique Subiono, the training director for a United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers local, said the need to work quickly is one reason that workers may break safety rules. "With solar there are so many brand new companies and with new companies you get a lot of new, inexperienced kids up on the roofs--inexperienced guys you see putting themselves in danger," he said. Body harnesses are too cumbersome to work in comfortably, Subiono added, but the local OSHA administrator says it's up to employers to make sure the rules are followed. A 26-year-old worker who fell to his death in September was not using any fall-arrest equipment.
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