The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspects tens of thousands of worksites a year. While typically under half of those inspections (44% in 2022) are programmed to target hazardous industries and operations, the rest result from specific events like employee complaints, injuries, fatalities, and referrals.
Any safety violations encountered during an OSHA visit can result in a citation, which typically comes with a fine. In January of 2023, OSHA increased its maximum civil penalty from $14,502 to $15,625 per violation. For repeated or willful violations, the maximum fine increased from $145,027 to $156,259 per violation.
Employers With the Most Costly OSHA Violations in Q2
OSHA often names companies and publicizes fine amounts in order to raise awareness of safety standards and punish employers that fail to comply, according to Construction Dive. The industry publication has posted some of the biggest penalties highlighted by OSHA in the first and second quarters of 2023.
While the first quarter saw many of the largest fines related to roofing operations — including the Roof Kings of Quincy, MA — most of the top penalties in the second quarter were related to excavation operations. The good news is that the top penalties in Q2 tended to be significantly lower than those in Q1, when five companies on the list were hit with fines larger than $300,000.
Here are four of the biggest OSHA penalties of the second quarter of 2023 (April-June), as reported by Construction Dive:
R Construction Civil LLC
Location: Buffalo, Texas
OSHA alleged that the site preparation contractor repeatedly failed to follow safety procedures during excavation work, which contributed to a worker’s death in October 2022. According to OSHA, the company allowed two workers to enter an excavation without sloping or protective systems to prevent the trench from collapsing. One worker died after becoming pinned against a compactor when the trench wall caved in.
Goldstar Excavation and Sewer
Location: Keenesburg, Colorado
According to OSHA, the utility contractor faces significant fines for allegedly continuing to fail to provide workers with proper protection in excavations the year after an employee fatality occurred. In August 2022, a 17-year-old worker died after being struck with asphalt when an unprotected excavation wall caved in.
United Custom Homes LLC
Location: Oswego, Illinois
OSHA alleged that the framing contractor exposed six carpenters to falls of up to 21 feet without fall protection. Inspectors said they observed employees working without protective equipment and OSHA claimed the contractor failed to train workers on the use of protection and forklift operations, and also failed to provide eye protection.
Coronado Excavation of Sewer and Water Repairs LLC
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Fines: $112,508 ($79,980)
Status: Informal Settlement
The utility contractor settled with OSHA to reduce penalties for alleged violations that led to a worker fatality in a trench collapse in December 2022. OSHA claimed that the company exposed workers to an unprotected trench, did not train them on trenching hazards, neglected to provide safe access into and out of the excavation, and failed to protect them from materials falling into the trench.
Massachusetts Work Injury Lawyers
Employers have a duty to protect employees from known workplace hazards. If you suffered an injury on the job due to dangerous working conditions or inadequate safety measures, you may qualify for compensation. Contact the experienced Boston work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP today to learn more about your legal rights and options.