A roofing contractor with a long history of violating workplace safety standards faces nearly $244,000 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following a December 2010 inspection resulting in citations for alleged egregious, willful, serious, and repeat violations for failing to provide fall protection and having other workplace hazards.
OSHA previously cited Lessard Brothers Construction Inc. and its predecessor, Lessard Roofing & Siding Inc., 10 times for fall protection violations at various Maine work sites. OSHA inspectors found four Lessard employees exposed to potentially life-threatening falls of 23 feet while working on a steep-pitched roof at a work site. Due to management's knowledge of the hazard and the required safeguards, along with the company's extensive history of violations, Lessard was cited for four egregious, willful violations with $224,000 in proposed fines. (WCxKit)
Since October 28, 2010, according to Maine's workers compensation insurance verification system, Lessard Brothers Construction has been without workers compensation insurance coverage.
“This employer ignored the law and put workers’ lives at risk,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “OSHA's commonsense regulations save lives. Employers who ignore these regulations and endanger employees must face the consequences.”
In addition, Lessard was cited for two serious violations with $10,560 in proposed fines for an electrical hazard and for failing to train workers on electrical hazards and fall protection. The company also was cited for one repeat violation with a proposed fine of $8,800 for a lack of hardhat protection. The repeat citation stems from OSHA citing the company in January 2010 for a similar hazard.
“Falls are the number one killer in construction work,” said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. “Employees in situations such as this are just one slip, trip or misstep away from a fatal or disabling fall. Responsible employers must ensure that effective fall protection measures are in place and in use every day on every job site.” (WCxKit)
This significant enforcement action qualifies Lessard Brothers Construction for OSHA's Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP), mandating targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in 2010, SVEP focuses on recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com .
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