Though they are technically self-employed, contractors must follow all rules and regulations set forth by OSHA. This is to protect themselves, their superiors and their subordinates in the event of an accident. Not following safety standards can cause serious injury, which is what happened in 2013 to three workers. They were working on a roof with insufficient fall protection and suffered severe injuries.
The Alabama contractor who hired these workers originally told OSHA he was at the jobsite when the accident occurred, and he was using the proper safety equipment to prevent falls. Further investigation showed he did to obtain this equipment until five days after the accident occurred. As such, he knew the workers were not safely tied off as they should be when working on a roof.