Top 6 OSHA Fines Levied Since May
||Once again, most of OSHA's biggest citations against contractors center around falls and trench safety, with $304,000 being the largest fine levied, underscoring that jobsite safety is a never-ending concern for federal and state watchdogs. The six largest monetary penalties were levied against the following organizations:
- Lanford Brothers Co., Marion, Virginia - $304,130
In August, OSHA proposed that Lanford Brothers Co. pay what looks like the largest fine yet for violations under the relatively new silica dust exposure standard. The five citations included two serious violations for improper eye or face protection and not providing proper silica dust training for workers.
- JK Excavation & Utilities, Mason, Ohio - $202,201
In December of 2017, a JK Excavation & Utilities employee died in a 16-foot-trench collapse. OSHA issued five serious, one willful, one repeat and two other citations to JK after determining that employees were working in trenches without proper cave-in protection; not enough attention was paid to removing accumulating water; workers did not use entry and egress ladders properly; the company did not keep employees from working under a suspended trench box; and that it did not ensure that employees wore protective headwear.
- Jose Barrientos, Derby, Kansas - $191,071
OSHA proposed fines for roofing contractor Jose Barrientos after inspectors found employees exposed to fall and other hazards on a Kansas residential jobsite. The agency issued the company citations for six serious, two willful and one other violation for the failure to provide sufficient fall, eye and face protection; not training employees about fall hazards, ladder usage and hazardous materials; and failing to keep work areas clear of debris.
- El Paso Underground Construction, El Paso, Texas - $190,642
El Paso Underground Construction is contesting the two serious and two willful violation citations OSHA issued the company in August, along with $190,642 in proposed penalties.
OSHA inspected one of El Paso's jobsites after seeing the pipe-laying company's employees working in an unprotected trench.
- Brutus Construction, Pottstown, Pennsylvania - $166,658
There are few details about the conditions that led to OSHA issuing one serious and three willful safety violations to roofing contractor Brutus Construction, but the agency's records indicate that the focus of the inspection and subsequent action was on falls, the leading cause of construction-site deaths.
- Douglas N. Higgins Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan - $162,596
OSHA cited utility contractor Douglas N. Higgins, Inc. with one serious, two willful, one repeat and one other-than-serious violation after an employee was crushed when a steel plate fell on him as he installed sewer lines on a project in Naples, Florida.
For more information on proper measures to prevent falls and trench cave-ins, please visit the SMOHIT
safety resources portal.