Unpacking the Eight Largest OSHA Fines So Far This Year

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Construction Dive reports on some of the biggest fines that have been issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration against contractors such as DME Construction Associates, Boss Construction, Lanigan Construction, and Groundworks Construction.

A recent report by Construction Dive unpacks the biggest fines issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration during the first quarter of 2022. The contractors who received these fines include DME Construction Associates, Boss Construction, Lanigan Construction, and Groundworks Colorado.

The smallest of the eight largest OSHA fines identified by the report was a fine of $143,570 issued to Colonial Roofing in Lehigh Acres, Florida. A citation issued in March 2022 concerned the death by lightning strike of a 19-year-old construction employee who fell to his death from a house he was working on. The contractor arrived at an informal settlement with OSHA that reduced the fine to $71,785; its president told Construction Dive that OSHA “found no wrongdoing” behind the worker’s death, and that the citation concerned “a different employee’s penalty regarding the use of fall protection.”

A March 1, 2022 citation concerned OSHA’s finding that Geissler Roofing, a contractor in Belleville, Illinois, failed to comply with “adequate fall protection standards” and to train its workers properly. The company has contested the fines totaling $159,530, per Construction Dive. On March 21, OSHA cited Advanced Contractor Corp. in Elizabeth, New Jersey in connection to “height safety issues.” In January, it cited Mayfield Site Contractors in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania over findings it failed to protect workers in connection to a wall’s collapse on one worker. As OSHA explained in a press release, four workers “were manually leveling a bed of stone behind and on top of the retaining wall blocks in front of the 20-foot shear wall, when the shear excavated wall collapsed on one employee and resulted in fatal crushing injuries.” Mayfield has reportedly contested the fine of $175,480.

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Many of the largest fines against these construction companies in the first quarter of 2022 are for failing to implement better health and safety standards and for not increasing fall protection for its workers, which has lead to the death of many contractors on the job.

In another March citation, OSHA found that Groundworks Colorado, a contractor based in Grand Junction, Colorado, failed to give its workers adequate safety gear for work in “a deep trench” that “created a hazard.” OSHA additionally found that the contractor failed to “have a competent professional inspect the trench prior to work” or to adequately train its employees regarding the hazards of trench work. OSHA fined the company $198,893, eventually reaching an informal settlement of $129,280. 

The largest fine OSHA issued in the first quarter of 2022 stemmed from a February 16 citation finding “four serious and nine willful violations” by DME Construction Associates in New York. According to Construction Dive, the fines related to the 18-foot fall of a worker “through an unprotected skylight,” as well as findings that DME Associates “exposed workers to another 22-foot unprotected fall hazard” and failed to provide adequate safety gear. OSHA fined the contractor, which it has reportedly fined a total of seven times in the last eleven years, $1,201,031. DME has contested the fine.

More information on OSHA’s largest fines to contractors in the first quarter of 2022 is available via Construction Dive.

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