OSHA has wrapped up its latest quarter of fines for the period from July through September. Some contractors were penalized hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the highest fine totaling over $1 million, for a variety of violations ranging from a failure to provide adequate protection to preventable deaths on a jobsite, according to the agency.
The most costly violation was for a Boston contractor with two jobsite fatalities; the owner is a repeat offender of OSHA regulations.
Several of the top penalties are for lack of fall protection. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, accounting for 401 of the 1,061 worker fatalities recorded in 2019, according to OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down webpage.
Here's a look at the largest construction workplace safety fines from Q3 2021.
Atlantic Coast Utilities / Laurence Moloney
Massachusetts-based Atlantic Coast Utilities and its owner, Laurence Moloney, were fined $1,256,092 after 12 serious, seven willful and one repeat violations were found on a Boston jobsite, in the aftermath of two worker fatalities. The two workers, Jordy Alexander Castaneda Romero, 27, and Juan Carlos Figueroa Gutierrez, 33, were killed when a dump truck struck and pushed them into a 9-foot-deep excavated trench.
OSHA used its egregious offender policy in the case, according to a Department of Labor press release, which allowed the agency to propose a penalty for each time a violation occurred instead of giving a wholesale violation. Company owner Moloney has a history of OSHA violations and still owes the agency money from past citations, according to the DOL.
Atlantic Coast Utilities is currently contesting the fines.
Grand Valley Carpentry / Neal J. Weaver
OSHA has fined Ohio-based Grand Valley Carpentry in tandem with its owner, Neal J. Weaver, $253,556 for endangering himself and one of his employees by failing to have adequate fall protection, according to an OSHA press release. On April 20, OSHA inspectors observed Weaver and an employee working without fall protection on a residential roof nearly 20 feet off the ground. Weaver was cited for two willful violations as a result of the incident.
Weaver has a history of violating OSHA guidelines, according to the release, and this incident marked the sixth time in five years that he'd been cited by the agency.
The case is still open, with no indication through OSHA data that Weaver or his company are contesting the fines.
America 1st Roofing
Washington-based America 1st Roofing was fined $168,039 as a result of Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) investigations into its jobsite practices, according to an agency press release.
L&I cited the company on Aug. 5 for seven safety violations including three willful violations for workers not using fall protection, not wearing eye protection while using a nail gun and for not having a fall protection plan for the specific worksite, according to the release. The company has also been fined in the past, most recently in March, when a roofer fell 18 feet and had to be hospitalized as a result of his injuries.
The case is still open, and OSHA data has not indicated whether the company has appealed.
CG Plumbing & Underground Utilities
Houston-based CG Plumbing & Underground Utilities was fined $151,746 after receiving five violations, four serious and one willful, according to OSHA data. The largest fine, which accounted for $136,532 of the total, was given for failure to have protective equipment, while the rest of the citations dealt with excavation safety and equipment.
The company is currently contesting the fines.
JMH Roofing / Jonas Hershberger
Ohio-based contractor JMH Roofing has been fined $136,453 for two serious, two repeat and two willful violations, according to OSHA data.
OSHA inspectors went to the company's jobsite in April, where they found workers operating 24 feet off the ground while safety equipment lay unused on the site, according to an OSHA press release. OSHA cited the company and its owner, Jonas Hershberger, and detailed in its release that the company has been cited six times in the past three years.
The case is still open, and OSHA data has not indicated whether the fines are being contested.
Illinois-based contractor A&E Carpentry Inc. was fined $132,740 for four serious, one willful, one repeat and two "other" violations, according to OSHA data, for a total of eight violations. The most costly and most serious of the fines was classified as a willful violation. It stemmed from the failure to provide fall protection, and came to a total of $105,130.
The case is still open, and OSHA data has not indicated whether the company will contest the fines.