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February 23, 2024
Massachusetts roofer facing $306K OSHA fine for repeat violations

A Framingham, Massachusetts, roofing contractor with a history of fall-related safety violations is facing $306,229 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for again exposing employees to potentially fatal falls, OSHA announced February 21. The agency cited Brothers Construction Services Inc., which also operates as Brothers Construction and Roofing and Brothers Roofing, with eight willful, repeat, serious, and other-than-serious violations.

OSHA investigators found that employees were exposed to falls of up to 20 feet (ft) at a residential worksite in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The agency opened an investigation at a Lexington Avenue worksite on August 17, 2023, in response to a complaint that workers on the roof of a residential property weren’t using fall protection. Inspectors observed multiple OSHA violations involving inadequate fall protection, ladders, personal protective equipment (PPE), safety inspections, scaffolds, and training.

Specifically, the employer didn’t:

  • Provide fall protection for employees exposed to a 20-ft fall hazard.
  • Train employees on fall hazards.
  • Ensure ladders were extended at least 3 ft above the upper landing surface for stability and ensure employees didn’t carry loads while using ladders. 
  • Ensure a ladder jack scaffold that lacked fall protection was erected by a competent person and the ladders supporting the scaffold were properly angled and secured.
  • Have a competent person conduct frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite to identify and correct hazards.
  • Provide employees with hard hats and eye protection.
  • Provide inspectors with OSHA 300 illness and injury logs within 4 business hours.

Last fall, OSHA announced that its construction industry fall protection standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1926.501) was its most frequently cited standard for the 13th straight year. The agency cited 7,271 violations in fiscal year (FY) 2023, which ended September 30.

“Falls remain the number one killer in construction work, year in and year out. Yet, this employer and too many others repeatedly fail to provide and ensure basic, commonsense and legally required safeguards for their employees,” James Mulligan, OSHA’s Braintree, Massachusetts, area office director, said in an agency statement.

Since 2011, OSHA has cited Brothers Construction Services Inc. and/or commonly owned Brothers Construction and Roofing, Brothers Roofing, and AS General Construction & Roofing Inc. for similar hazards at worksites in Acton, Arlington, Dedham, Framingham, Holliston, Middleboro, Wareham, and Woburn, Massachusetts, and Windham, New Hampshire.

Oklahoma manufacturer facing $284K OSHA fine for 24 violations

A Tulsa, Oklahoma, aeronautical parts manufacturer faces $284,963 in OSHA fines for exposing workers to nearly two dozen safety hazards at the company’s plant in Catoosa, the agency announced February 21.

The agency cited LMI Finishing Inc., operating as Sonaca North America, with 23 serious violations of safety standards related to confined spaces, fall hazards, and blocked exit routes.

OSHA investigators found that the employer didn’t: 

  • Evaluate the hazards of the permit space before entering.
  • Develop or implement procedures and practices for making safe entry into confined spaces. 
  • Ensure lift attachments were rated. 
  • Ensure electrical equipment was used as intended and free from hazards. 
  • Confirm that chemical containers were labeled. 
  • Ensure exams were performed on employees working with chromic acid.
  • Ensure first-aid procedures and supplies specific to certain chemicals were in place.
  • Provide PPE to employees working with acids, caustic chemicals, and chromium VI (hexavalent chromium).

The employer also was cited with one other-than-serious violation for failing to ensure fire extinguishers were readily accessible. An investigation into allegations of health hazards at the plant is ongoing, according to OSHA.

“LMI Finishing Inc. took serious risks with its employees’ lives by not identifying and correcting multiple safety hazards,” Steven Kirby, OSHA’s Oklahoma City area office director, said in a statement. “Combining confined space violations with chemicals such as chromium VI exposed multiple employees to serious safety and health hazards.”

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