July 16, 2024


Living – be prepared

Biggest OSHA fines of Q2 2020

5 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic might have altered the way OSHA conducts inspections and even limited enforcement in some regions of the state with high ranges of neighborhood transmission, but the agency is nonetheless focusing on contractors that set their employees’ life at danger by exposing them to two of the most severe sector threats — fall and excavation dangers. 

Falls are the major trigger of accidental development fatalities, together with caught-in/involving, struck-by and electrocution incidents.

Listed here are the agency’s largest fines for the 2nd quarter of this year:

Alejandro Vasquez Gallegos
Columbus, Ohio

Complete Proposed Fines: $236,642

Status: Pending Penalty Payment (here and here)

Contractor Alejandro Vasquez Gallegos picked up 4 severe, two willful and two repeat violation citations in April right after two inspections that OSHA initiated in November 2019 as element of a local emphasis application (LEP)  focused on fall protection. The agency proposed $141,222 and $95,420 for a overall of $236,642.

Throughout an investigation of two different projects, OSHA mentioned its inspectors observed the very same violations at equally jobsites, which includes employees on roofs without the need of enough fall protection, workforce without the need of protection eyeglasses and employees using ladders improperly. According to OSHA data, Vazquez Gallegos did not contest the citations, and the agency is awaiting payment. 

LEPs are executed at OSHA space places of work or regional places of work and focus on dangers that are existing in the office’s jurisdiction. In addition to targeted inspections, LEPs also consist of agency outreach efforts like mailings to local contractors, as perfectly as training provided by contractor corporations. 

Unnerstall Contracting Co. LLC
Pacific, Missouri

Complete Proposed Fines: $224,459

Status: Violations Below Contest

OSHA initiated an inspection into a Unnerstall Contracting Co. LLC jobsite in December 2019 right after a single of its workforce was wounded in a trench collapse. The agency cited Unnerstall with 4 severe and a few willful quotation violations, proposed fines of $224,459 and positioned the business in its Extreme Violator Enforcement Method, which implies Unnerstall will be subject matter to more protection oversight. 

The agency mentioned that Unnerstall did not use satisfactory trench protective units, permitted workforce to experience in the bucket of hydraulic excavators, enable h2o accumulate in the floor of the trench, unsuccessful to present a safe and sound implies of egress from the trench, did not safeguard employees from struck-by dangers and positioned excavated soil piles far too near to trench edges. The business has contested the violations. 

D&R Building Inc.
Palatine, Illinois

Complete Proposed Fines: $224,424

Status: Pending Penalty Payment, Pending Abatement of Violations, Penalties Referred to Financial debt Assortment

Two OSHA jobsite inspections at the stop of very last year netted D&R Building Inc. a single severe, two willful and two repeat violation citations together with a overall of $224,424 of proposed penalties, $126,462 on a single venture and $ninety seven,962 on a further. 

The severe violation was for failure to ensure that workforce had been donning satisfactory head protection. The willful citations provided violations for not guarding employees with satisfactory fall arrest and protection units, and OSHA issued the repeat violations for failure to ensure right use of ladders and for failure to coach workforce on fall dangers. Company data point out that D&R did not contest the citations and that it is awaiting the contractor’s payment in whole.

ELQ Industries Inc.
New Rochelle, New York

Complete Proposed Fines: $146,491

Status: Pending Penalty Payment

ELQ Industries Inc. is a sitework and heavy civil contractor based mostly in New Rochelle, New York. OSHA strike ELQ with a single willful, a single other and 4 severe violations in the 2nd quarter of this year and proposed overall fines of $146,941.

Among ELQ’s citations was a violation of OSHA’s standard duty clause, which needs that employers keep a office no cost of identified dangers that could trigger severe physical harm or loss of life to workforce standard excavation requirements, which includes those people associated to egress from trenches and excavation protective units. OSHA data do not point out that ELQ contested the citations. 

Elmer Julio Perez Mendez
Cellular, Alabama

Complete Proposed Fines: $138,118

Status: Pending Abatement of Violations, Pending Penalty Payment

OSHA executed an inspection of a single of contractor Elmer Julio Perez Mendez’s jobsites right after a worker fell from a height of 9 ft even though executing roofing get the job done. The staff, who sustained severe head injuries, was hospitalized and died 7 days later on. According to an agency report, the incident took place as the worker was removing present weatherproofing material from a roof’s area. 

OSHA cited Perez Mendez for a single willful violation for not giving satisfactory fall protection and for two other violations associated to reporting incidents in a well timed manner. Perez Mendez did not contest the violations and is nonetheless subject matter to the $138,118 fine.

Crown Roofing LLC
Sarasota, Florida

Complete Proposed Fines: $134,937

Status: Penalty Payment Program in Location

OSHA mentioned it cited Crown Roofing LLC, and fined the business $134,937, right after an inspection at a single of the its projects in Tamarac, Florida, revealed that the business experienced exposed its workforce to fall dangers by allowing for them to perform roofing get the job done without the need of satisfactory fall protection. The agency mentioned it has inspected Crown jobsites eighteen occasions in the very last six several years and has identified proof of violations 12 occasions. OSHA data point out that Crown negotiated this newest fine down to $eighty,962 and has a payment approach in position with the agency.

Crown Safety Director Alek Mendez-Feliz explained to Building Dive that he could not say no matter if OSHA was focusing on the business unfairly with so a lot of inspections and fines totaling hundreds of countless numbers of dollars in the very last many several years but questioned the agency’s enforcement guidelines when it arrives to other roofing contractors. 

“We expend more than $one million a year in protection training, manpower, equipment, compliance enforcement and specialized OSHA training for our management personnel,” Mendez-Feliz mentioned. “Only Crown Roofing and a several other providers our sizing in the condition are equipped to commit these types of financial sources to protection, not due to the fact the agency claims we have to but due to the fact is the ideal issue to do for our workforce. Where’s the enforcement to everyone else?”

Crown maintains that staff misconduct wants to be taken into consideration when OSHA is deciding no matter if to cite and fine providers like Crown, which, Mendez-Feliz mentioned, spends so significantly time and energy on compliance. 

“1 would reasonably consider that at some position, personalized duty must fall on the employees not following the supplied protection training,” he mentioned.

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