In the second quarter of the year, state and federal worker safety agencies fined contractors for safety violations across the United States.
Contractors were fined for issues such as a failure to issue fall protection and a failure to provide respiratory equipment. The biggest fines combined to reach $1.2 million for one contractor.
OSHA emphasizes the need for fall protection in particular. Falls, according to the agency, are the leading cause of death in construction, responsible for the deaths of 320 workers out of the 1,008 total recorded fatalities in 2018.
Here are the OSHA fines for Q2 that totaled more than $150,000:
Total Proposed Fines: $1,242,807
Allways Roofing based in Snohomish, Washington, racked up more than $1 million in combined fines this past quarter stemming from inspections across four jobsites in Washington state, according to a Washington Department of Labor & Industries press release.
Between December and March, the company had 12 willful serious violations at three jobsites in Snohomish and one in Lake Stevens, according to the release, ranging from failing to provide fall protection, not using ladders correctly and not using eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns.
The fines reached more than $1 million because Allways Roofing, according to the release, is a repeat offender and on the state's Severe Violator Program. The company has been cited for more than a dozen safety violations since 2010, according to the release, and were fined $375,000 in January 2020 for six willful, six serious and two repeat-general violations that occurred on three different work sites. The company has also had at least four injury claims that have resulted in serious injuries and hospitalizations.
Allways Roofing is contesting the fines.
Marble Builder Direct International
Total Proposed Fines: $177,314
Cleveland-based contractor Marble Builder Direct International was cited in April for one serious and seven willful violations for a total of $177,314 in proposed fines. A chunk of the fines resulted from violations regarding respiration, citing statutes on respiratory equipment but also statutes on silica dust respiration, which is capable of causing severe lung disease and death. Other citations include improper wiring, flammable liquids and violation of the statute regarding powered industrial trucks.
The company had no recorded fines in the OSHA database prior to these citations, and is currently contesting the fines.
Total Proposed Fines: $183,225
High Springs, Florida-based DWC Contracting was fined in May for $183,225 as a result of one willful, one serious and one repeat violation, according to a Department of Labor press release.
The violations stem from an investigation into a jobsite in Gainesville, Florida, where government inspectors found three workers on a two-story building with no fall protection. Along with that violation, inspectors also noted repeat violations of a failure to keep ladders at least 3 feet above an upper landing on the worksite, along with a failure to enforce protections regarding the eyes and face when using a pneumatic nail gun.
The contractor reached an informal settlement for $100,774, down over $80,000 from the initial fine.
Total Proposed Fines: $171,639
A&W Contracting, Inc., a firm based in Chipley, Florida, was cited following the deaths of one of its workers and the injuries of three others resulting from improper training and a lack of preparation. The employees, who were pipe layers and untrained for this kind of work, were working from trusses and clearing out the rafters with chainsaws. Their support collapsed, and they fell 15 feet. One employee died, and the other three were injured.
The company was cited by OSHA for failing to shore or brace the walls of a building that was about to be demolished, failure to train their employees and other violations, with the bulk of the fine coming from the violation of shoring up the walls.
The company has settled informally and brought the fine down to $70,008.
Total Proposed Fines: $300,370
Everest Scaffolding, a roofing firm based out of Brooklyn, New York, was fined $300,370 after an investigation into an employee’s death by falling revealed two serious and two willful violations of OSHA code regarding violations of fall protections systems, along with one violation of general requirements regarding scaffolding safety and one violation of training requirements also regarding scaffolding safety.
An OSHA investigation detailed that the employee was killed as they climbed up seven levels of previously erected scaffolding to an eighth level, where the worker then fell to the concrete below and was killed. Everest Scaffolding is currently contesting the fines.
Total Proposed Fines: $283,989
Janiec Roofing, a Lodi, New Jersey based company, was fined $283,989 resulting from three serious, one willful and four repeat violations of OSHA policy. The violations stem from a failure to provide fall protection and other basic safety equipment, such as head protection.
On top of these citations, OSHA found the company in violation of a past settlement agreement and that it continued to expose workers to dangerous safety hazards, which brought fines up even more, according to a Department of Labor press release.