A Brockton roofing contractor is facing more than $72,000 in fines after OSHA officials passing by a Rhode Island jobsite spotted a dangerous situation and pulled over to investigate.
According to reports published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA inspectors were on their way back to their Providence office on January 22, after completing an unrelated inspection, when they passed the North Smithfield jobsite and saw a dangerous situation in clear view.
Two men working for Brockton contractor Ivan Paredes were spotted without protective gear and the ladder-jack scaffold they were working on did not have the necessary guardrails. They were working 16-feet off the ground and faced a possible life-threatening hazard. According to OSHA reports, the passing inspectors pulled over and ordered the two roofing employees off the scaffold and began inspecting the jobsite.
“This was a clear-and-present danger. These employees could have fallen at any time and been killed or disabled. Ivan Paredes knew of this hazard, but chose to ignore it and his legal responsibility to protect his employees,” Patrick Griffin, OSHA’s area director for Rhode Island, said in a statement to OSHA.
The contractor’s willful negligence and failure to provide fall protection resulted in OSHA citing Paredes the maximum fine for a willful violation: $70,000. Paredes was also cited an additional $2,800 for an additional hazard for not having employees use an access ladder to reach the work platform safely.