Residential Contractor Faces $263K in Fall Protection Fines
Originally Published by: OSHA — May 23, 2022
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A Roselle contractor’s history of violating federal safety standards and ignoring safety citations and penalties – and a willingness to expose its workers to serious injuries or worse – continues, as federal inspectors found during their Nov. 8, 2021, investigation at a Park Ridge residential construction site.
Currently, Emerald Inc. owes the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration more than $378,561 in penalties from six previous inspections dating back to 2018. In addition, the company has not responded to citations issued by OSHA in 2018, 2020 and 2021. The unpaid penalties have been referred for debt collection.
“Emerald Inc. continues to put its workers at risk of the construction industry’s most cited safety hazard – a fall from heights – which can leave workers with serious debilitating injuries or worse,” explained OSHA Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Des Plaines, Illinois. “The company’s disregard of federal safety standards and willingness to gamble with its workers’ lives is disturbing. OSHA will continue to cite the company for its violations and hold them legally responsible for the dangerous risks they are taking.”
In the agency’s most recent investigation, an OSHA inspector found Emerald exposing a foreman and a roofer to deadly fall hazards as they worked at heights of up to 22 feet above the ground with inadequate fall protection. The investigation determined Emerald had failed to equip workers with adequate fall protection equipment and did not train workers on the proper use of powered industrial vehicles, ensure the use of head and eye protection and allow workers to use ladders improperly.
As a result of the Park Ridge investigation, OSHA issued Emerald Inc. one willful and five repeat citations, and proposed additional penalties of $263,226.
In late 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 351 of the 1,008 construction workers who died on the job, were deaths related to falls from elevation.
OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and proper safety procedures. Learn more about OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.