The COVID-19 pandemic may possibly have altered the way OSHA conducts inspections and even minimal enforcement in some regions of the state with substantial ranges of neighborhood transmission, but the agency is nonetheless concentrating on contractors that place their employees’ lives at possibility by exposing them to two of the most major market threats — fall and excavation hazards.
Falls are the top result in of accidental development deaths, together with caught-in/involving, struck-by and electrocution incidents.
Below are the agency’s greatest fines for the next quarter of this yr:
Alejandro Vasquez Gallegos
Total Proposed Fines: $236,642
Standing: Pending Penalty Payment (listed here and listed here)
Contractor Alejandro Vasquez Gallegos picked up four major, two willful and two repeat violation citations in April soon after two inspections that OSHA initiated in November 2019 as element of a nearby emphasis plan (LEP) focused on drop safety. The agency proposed $141,222 and $95,420 for a overall of $236,642.
Throughout an investigation of two different assignments, OSHA said its inspectors noticed the exact violations at the two jobsites, like workers on roofs without the need of enough drop safety, personnel without the need of safety glasses and workers utilizing ladders improperly. According to OSHA documents, Vazquez Gallegos did not contest the citations, and the agency is awaiting payment.
LEPs are implemented at OSHA region places of work or regional places of work and focus on hazards that are present in the office’s jurisdiction. In addition to qualified inspections, LEPs also consist of agency outreach efforts like mailings to nearby contractors, as nicely as training made available through contractor corporations.
Unnerstall Contracting Co. LLC
Total Proposed Fines: $224,459
Standing: Violations Less than Contest
OSHA initiated an inspection into a Unnerstall Contracting Co. LLC jobsite in December 2019 soon after one particular of its personnel was hurt in a trench collapse. The agency cited Unnerstall with four major and three willful citation violations, proposed fines of $224,459 and positioned the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement System, which implies Unnerstall will be subject matter to further safety oversight.
The agency said that Unnerstall did not use ample trench protecting systems, allowed personnel to journey in the bucket of hydraulic excavators, enable h2o accumulate in the floor of the trench, unsuccessful to give a protected implies of egress from the trench, did not safeguard workers from struck-by hazards and positioned excavated soil piles way too close to trench edges. The firm has contested the violations.
D&R Design Inc.
Total Proposed Fines: $224,424
Standing: Pending Penalty Payment, Pending Abatement of Violations, Penalties Referred to Credit card debt Assortment
Two OSHA jobsite inspections at the end of final yr netted D&R Design Inc. one particular major, two willful and two repeat violation citations together with a overall of $224,424 of proposed penalties, $126,462 on one particular project and $ninety seven,962 on a different.
The major violation was for failure to make certain that personnel were donning ample head safety. The willful citations included violations for not guarding workers with ample drop arrest and safety systems, and OSHA issued the repeat violations for failure to make certain proper use of ladders and for failure to coach personnel on drop hazards. Agency documents show that D&R did not contest the citations and that it is awaiting the contractor’s payment in entire.
ELQ Industries Inc.
New Rochelle, New York
Total Proposed Fines: $146,491
Standing: Pending Penalty Payment
ELQ Industries Inc. is a sitework and significant civil contractor based mostly in New Rochelle, New York. OSHA hit ELQ with one particular willful, one particular other and four major violations in the next quarter of this yr and proposed overall fines of $146,941.
Amongst ELQ’s citations was a violation of OSHA’s typical duty clause, which necessitates that companies sustain a office free of identified hazards that could result in major actual physical harm or demise to personnel typical excavation demands, like individuals relevant to egress from trenches and excavation protecting systems. OSHA documents do not show that ELQ contested the citations.
Elmer Julio Perez Mendez
Total Proposed Fines: $138,118
Standing: Pending Abatement of Violations, Pending Penalty Payment
OSHA executed an inspection of one particular of contractor Elmer Julio Perez Mendez’s jobsites soon after a employee fell from a top of nine ft though accomplishing roofing perform. The employee, who sustained major head accidents, was hospitalized and died seven days later on. According to an agency report, the accident transpired as the employee was eliminating existing weatherproofing material from a roof’s floor.
OSHA cited Perez Mendez for one particular willful violation for not supplying ample drop safety and for two other violations relevant to reporting incidents in a well timed vogue. Perez Mendez did not contest the violations and is nonetheless subject matter to the $138,118 great.
Crown Roofing LLC
Total Proposed Fines: $134,937
Standing: Penalty Payment Program in Position
OSHA said it cited Crown Roofing LLC, and fined the company $134,937, soon after an inspection at one particular of the its assignments in Tamarac, Florida, disclosed that the company had exposed its personnel to drop hazards by permitting them to conduct roofing perform without the need of ample drop safety. The agency said it has inspected Crown jobsites 18 situations in the final six decades and has located proof of violations 12 situations. OSHA documents show that Crown negotiated this most current great down to $eighty,962 and has a payment strategy in put with the agency.
Crown Safety Director Alek Mendez-Feliz informed Design Dive that he could not say whether or not OSHA was concentrating on the company unfairly with so lots of inspections and fines totaling hundreds of countless numbers of dollars in the final several decades but questioned the agency’s enforcement insurance policies when it arrives to other roofing contractors.
“We spend more than $one million a yr in safety training, manpower, equipment, compliance enforcement and specialised OSHA training for our administration staff,” Mendez-Feliz said. “Only Crown Roofing and a several other organizations our sizing in the point out are capable to commit these kinds of money sources to safety, not since the agency suggests we have to but since is the suitable detail to do for our personnel. Where’s the enforcement to all people else?”
Crown maintains that employee misconduct desires to be taken into consideration when OSHA is determining whether or not to cite and great organizations like Crown, which, Mendez-Feliz said, spends so much time and energy on compliance.
“A person would moderately think that at some stage, particular obligation should drop on the workers not next the delivered safety training,” he said.