OSHA fines Illinois contractor for fall violations

ConDig (25-May-22).  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined an Illinois contractor $263,226 for fall violations.

Following an investigation at a Park Ridge residential construction site last November, the agency said that Emerald Inc. had exposed a foreman and a roofer to deadly fall hazards as they worked at heights of up to 22 feet above the ground with inadequate fall protection.

It determined Emerald had failed to equip workers with adequate fall protection equipment and did not train workers on the proper use of powered industrial vehicles, ensure the use of head and eye protection and allow workers to use ladders improperly.

OSHA added that Emerald Inc. owes the agency more than $378,561 in penalties from six previous inspections dating back to 2018.

“Emerald Inc. continues to put its workers at risk of the construction industry’s most cited safety hazard – a fall from heights – which can leave workers with serious debilitating injuries or worse,” said OSHA Chicago north area director Angeline Loftus. 

“The company’s disregard of federal safety standards and willingness to gamble with its workers’ lives is disturbing. OSHA will continue to cite the company for its violations and hold them legally responsible for the dangerous risks they are taking.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

In late 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 351 of the 1,008 construction workers who died on the job, were deaths related to falls from elevation.

In March, OSHA fined a Colorado-based contractor $198,893 for serious trenching safety violations.