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Top 10 recent OSHA penalties were mostly related to fall prevention and trench safety violations

Construction_workers_not_wearing_fall_protection_equipmentContractors who failed to protect construction workers from fall accidents and contractors who didn’t follow excavation and trenching safety rules were the ones hit with the biggest OSHA violations. Before Trump was elected, OSHA used to publish a high volume of press releases “shaming contractors” for violating safety rules. The number of press releases decreased but the penalties are among some of the highest OSHA has ever proposed. However many of them are negotiated down. Here are the top 10 recent largest fines:

  1. $1,523,710 for Great White Construction in Jacksonville, Florida related to fall protection and eye hazard violations. This commercial and residential roofer was cited 22 times for the same violations before being fined.  OSHA also listed the contractor in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
  2. $1,475,813 for Atlantic Drain Service Co. in Boston, Massachusetts.  This fine is related to an accident during which two construction workers died after a trench collapsed on them. Atlantic was cited for 18 safety violations and a new regulation was created that requires contractors to disclose their safety history when applying for a building permit in Boston. The owner of Atlantic was charged with manslaughter.
  3. $714,142 for Arrow Plumbing in Blue Springs, Missouri
    After one worker died in a trench collapse, Arrow plumbing just continued to exposed its workers to deadly accidents. A  month after the worker death, OSHA inspectors found that the company still hadn’t installed a system to prevent the trench to cave in.  No ladder for egress was provided and employees didn’t receive any training on trench work.
  4. $454,750 for Kamphuis Pipeline Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan
    During an inspection at a North Dakota construction site, OSHA found employees at high risk of trench cave-ins and other life threatening hazards. According to the citations Kamphuis failed to identify and correct hazards, didn’t use proper trench protective systems, didn’t protect workers from being stuck by hazards and located piles of excavated soil to close to the trench edges.
  5. $429,417 for Robert Barringer III d/b/a Barringer Bros. Roofing in Belleville, IL
    OSHA inspectors found the roofer employees working at heights higher than 6 feet without adequate fall protection. They also noticed workers didn’t wear eye protection when they were using nail guns. No safety program was implemented by the negligent roofer who has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
  6. $366,150 for Gateway Building Systems, Tintah, Minnesota
    The contractor was fined after one of its worker fell to death from a raised platform on top of a grain elevator. The accident could have been prevented if an adequate fall protection system was used.
  7. $329,548 for Manafort Brothers in  Plainville, Connecticut
    The negligent contractor didn’t protect its employees from chemicals during the demolition of a mercury boiler.
  8. $375,715 for Jasper Contractors in Kennesaw, Georgia
    OSHA found that the roofing company was not following ladder safety, fall protections as well as eyes and face safety requirements.
  9. $299,324 for Luis Guallpa d/b/a Guallpa Contracting Corp in  Milford, Massachusetts
    OSHA inspectors found employees working on roof with no adequate fall protection systems. Additionaly they were using ladders unsafely and didn’t wear any head protection.
  10. $271,606 for Jax Utilities Management in Jacksonville, Florida
    Jax was placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program for not providing adequate trench protections and letting water accumulate in the trench of a site.  This negligence led to an accident during which a worker was injured.

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Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia