Enforcement and Inspection

Sunpro Solar Facing $160,000 OSHA Fine

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that solar panel installation contractor, Marc Jones Construction LLC, operating as Sunpro Solar, is facing $160,913 in penalties for a repeat violation of the fall protection standard, along with other violations. 

The agency cited Sunpro Solar with a repeat, serious violation of the fall protection standard and serious violations of the ladders and fall protection training standards. 

Agency inspectors found workers at a Naples, Florida, work site were exposed to falls and cited the company for allowing workers to climb up and down extension ladders while carrying loads that could have caused them to fall, as well as for failing to provide fall protection training to employees.  

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard (29 CFR §1926.501) continues to be the agency’s most frequently cited standard, with 5,295 violations cited in fiscal year (FY) 2021. The agency’s ladders standard (§1926.1053) is its third most frequently cited standard, with 2,026 violations in FY 2021. The fall protection—training requirements standard (§1926.503) is OSHA’s seventh most frequently cited standard, with 1,666 violations in FY 2021. 

The agency previously cited the Louisiana-based solar panel installer twice for similar violations in Texas—in San Antonio in January 2021 and in El Paso in April 2020.  

“Marc Jones Construction has ignored the law repeatedly and failed to protect their workers from well-known fall hazards,” Condell Eastmond, OSHA’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area director, said in an agency statement.  

“OSHA will continue holding this company accountable until they start meeting their obligations and complying with OSHA standards.” 

Marc Jones Construction LLC, based in Mandeville, Louisiana, is a commercial and residential solar panel installation company operating in 21 states, according to the agency. 

Pipeline contractor cited in worker fatality 

OSHA also announced the agency had cited a north Georgia site-grading and pipeline contractor in the death of a 24-year-old worker who was killed after a fork attachment used on a front-end loader dislodged and struck the worker. Mathis Grading Inc. faces $20,480 in proposed penalties for a serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s General Duty Clause (§5(a)(1)) and an other-than-serious violation for failing to report an employee’s death to OSHA within 8 hours. 

Agency investigators determined that when the incident occurred at a Dawsonville, Georgia, work site, the worker held a stake as heavy equipment drove it into the ground to install a stanchion for GPS equipment. The worker was transported to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries. 

“Like all employers, Mathis Grading must provide a workplace free of recognizable hazards by identifying and mitigating safety hazards,” Joshua Turner, OSHA’s Atlanta-east area director,  said in an agency statement. “Had established safety instructions outlined in the equipment safety manual been followed, this tragic death could have been prevented.”  Mathis Grading Inc. of Cumming, Georgia, is a family- owned and -operated site- grading and pipeline installation contractor for residential, commercial, and industrial land development, founded in 1985, according to the agency.

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