EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
APPEALS BOARD

Summary of THE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP - DAR


An employee stepped through a second floor window opening onto an entry canopy and fell through a skylight. Employer was cited for a general violation of section 1632(e) because the skylight was not covered or protected by a guardrail. There was no percipient witness testimony presented. Employer's Vice President testified that he was informed that the employee was assigned to work on the ground, that employees had been instructed to stay off the canopy except for one unrelated reason, and that the window opening was covered with plywood and warning tape until the employee removed them. The injured employee, interviewed through an interpreter, stated that the foreman directed him to spread plastic sheeting on the canopy to catch debris thrown down by employees working above and that the window opening was uncovered when he got there. Employer's accident report, which was done by the injured employee's foreman, said the employee was on the canopy to put down the plastic sheeting. The Board held that an authorized admission by the foreman and circumstantial evidence of the type of work being performed by Employer, supplemented by the hearsay statement of the injured employee, was sufficient to prove that he went onto the canopy for a work related purpose. Even if the window was covered with plywood and caution tape when he reached that point, it did not provide him with the skylight protection required by section 1632(e) when he stepped onto the canopy. The violation was established.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP 96-R1D3-1633
June 7, 2000