Most of OSHA's Top Q4 Fines Related to Fall Protection

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Originally Published by: Construction Dive — February 1, 2022
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OSHA has released another round of citations against companies that violate the agency's safety protocols, resulting in injuries and fatalities to workers. This latest roundup of offenses includes willful violations of fall protection standards, standards involving aerial lifts and more. Read on to see the largest violations by contractors this past quarter.

Allways Roofing

Fined: $424,964

Status: Contested

Snohomish, Washington-based contractor Allways Roofing was fined $424,964 for one serious, four willful and one repeat violation on Nov. 2 for failure to use fall protection and for using material roofing brackets as tie off points, among other issues, according to a Washington State Department of Labor & Industries press release.

The company had been fined $1.2 million six months ago for the same violations, and it was fined nearly $375,000 about one year from the November fines, according to L&I. The company has been and is currently on the state DOL's Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which subjects the firm to greater scrutiny and more inspections. Allways Roofing has had at least seven serious injuries, including five falls from heights and two eye injuries from nail guns, according to the release.

The company is currently contesting the most recent round of fines.

Richmond Construction

Fined: $374,603

Status: Contested

Queens, New York-based firm Richmond Construction was fined $374,603 on Nov. 12 for two willful, six serious and one repeat violations for offenses including failure to provide fall protection and failure to have proper hearing protection.

The investigation stemmed from an jobsite fatality last May where an employee of the company fell 60 feet and died as a result of the injuries during the demolition of a building in Brooklyn.

An OSHA investigation found that the company failed to provide and require the use of all required safeguards related to fall protection, according to an OSHA press release. Investigators also determined that the company failed to train its workers to recognize and avoid fall hazards

Richmond Construction is currently contesting the fines.

Wilson Roofing & Construction

Fined: $247,000

Status: Contested

Ferndale, Washington-based contractor Wilson Roofing & Construction was fined $247,000 for one serious, two willful, two repeat and one other violation on Dec. 2. The company was observed to have a lack of fall protection and other safety violations while employees were roofing a home in Ferndale.

During an inspection, three roofers were seen wearing harnesses that were not attached to tie off ropes while working on a steep pitched roof with a fall height of about 22 feet, according to a Washington State Department of Labor & Industries press release.

The company is also a repeat offender known to the Washington L&I. In the last three years, the agency has inspected Wilson Roofing & Construction twice following employee falls from heights that resulted in hospitalizations, according to the release. In March 2019, the company was cited and fined $42,000 for not ensuring fall protection was being used by its roofers. Wilson Roofing & Construction is now in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program.

Wilson Roofing & Construction is currently contesting the fines.

Charm Builders

Fines: $214,900 ($85,960 current)

Status: Informal settlement

Millersburg, Ohio-based Charm Builders was fined $214,900 for three serious, one willful and three repeat violations stemming from an incident where a worker was electrocuted and paralyzed following a fall from a jobsite in Wheeling, West Virginia.

According to the OSHA investigation, a roofing worker suffered electrical burns after making contact with an overhead power line while atop a Wheeling commercial building, and then fell about 11 feet to the ground, the Wheeling Intelligencer reported. The impact caused spinal injuries that left the worker paralyzed from the waist down.

The company has informally settled with OSHA, and the fines have currently been reduced from their initial amounts to $85,960.

Mast's Top Choice Roofing and Top Choice Roofing Service

Fines: $167,934 each

Status: Both companies contested

Jefferson, Ohio-based Mast's Top Choice Roofing and Hadley, Pennsylvania-based Top Choice Roofing Service have each been fined $167,934 following the June death of a 19-year-old worker jointly employed by both companies on a jobsite in Neville Island, Pennsylvania. Each company was cited for one serious and two willful violations.

OSHA determined Top Choice Roofing Service and Mast's Top Choice Roofing Service ignored federal requirements to use fall protection systems around skylights and on a low-sloped roof, according to an OSHA press release. The companies also allowed the use of an aerial lift without fall protection.

Both companies are currently contesting their respective fines.

Marc Jones Construction

Fines: $160,913

Status: Contested

Mandeville, Louisiana-based contractor Marc Jones Construction, LLC was fined $160,913 on Nov. 10 for two serious and one repeat violations on a Naples, Florida jobsite, according to the U.S. Department of Labor

OSHA cited the company, operating as Sunpro Solar, for a repeat violation after inspectors found workers exposed to falls, according to a Department of Labor press release. In addition, the agency cited the company for allowing workers to climb up and down extension ladders while carrying loads that could have caused them to fall, and failing to provide fall protection training to employees.

Marc Jones Construction is a repeat offender. OSHA twice cited the Louisiana-based company for similar violations on Texas jobsites, in San Antonio in January 2021 and in El Paso in April 2020, according to the release.

Marc Jones Construction is contesting the current citations.