Milwaukee, WI – In a report from the Journal Sentinel, an Appleton roofing contractor faces more than $120,000 in penalties after workplace safety inspectors said they observed employees exposed to falls and other hazards at two job sites.
Hector Hernandez, who operates Town City Construction, was cited by OSHA for one repeat violation and two willful violations in allegedly failing to provide fall protection and train workers on fall hazards and for ladder and scaffold issues.
Town City has been cited by OSHA for previous violations. In May 2016, one hour after six Town City workers atop an Eau Claire roof put on required safety harnesses to satisfy a safety inspection, OSHA said. The inspector returned to the site and found employees working again without proper fall protection, exposing them to falls from 14 feet.
It was the sixth time since 2010 the agency cited Hernandez for safety violations.
OSHA proposed $70,000 in penalties and said the company ignored five previous inspections, from 2010 through 2015, resulting in fall protection violations.
Federal regulators are proposing nearly $65,000 in penalties for a Colorado company where a worker died after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning the inside of a rail car.
OSHA said that EnviroTech Services of Greeley didn’t provide respiratory protection, didn’t properly ventilate the car and didn’t have an emergency rescue plan.
According to a report in the Insurance Journal, Jose Miguel Cisneros died in December. A co-worker who tried to rescue him also was overcome by the fumes while they worked at EnviroTech’s plant in Evans.
EnviroTech provides deicing, anti-icing, dust control, soil stabilization and erosion control, according to its website. The Greeley Tribune reports the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
OSHA Denver Area Office Director Herb Gibson has held an informal conference with EnviroTech Services to discuss the citations and work toward an informal settlement.
Safety.BLR.com reports that enforcement actions OSHA took against Lessard Roofing and Siding, a New England roofing company in 2011 and 2015 appear to have had no impact on the company’s willingness to improve safety conditions for its employees and pay approximately $400,000 in penalties for alleged violations of OSHA’s regulations.
As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has intervened for a second time by ordering the company to undertake multiple actions, including developing written comprehensive safety and training programs.
The court added that should the company fail to comply with the order, it will consider additional coercive actions up to and including incarceration of the business owners “and any other individual who, with notice and knowledge of our judgments or this order, may be found responsible for noncompliance.”
According to a 2015 OSHA news release, the company’s owner is a “serial violator” of OSHA’s requirements to provide employees with fall protection equipment and training.
OSHA has cited EWP Renewable Corp., doing business as Springfield Power LLC, for 25 safety violations after an employee suffered fatal injuries after he was pulled into a conveyor at the company’s Springfield plant in November 2017. The Mount Laurel, New Jersey, company faces $125,460 in proposed penalties.
OSHA inspectors found that the conveyor and other machinery lacked required safety guarding, and employees were not trained in lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from unintentionally starting. OSHA also cited Springfield Power for fall hazards; electric shock and arc flash hazards; and lack of adequate emergency evacuation, fire prevention; and hazardous energy control programs.