Construction, Enforcement and Inspection

OSHA Cites Ohio Contractor for Sixth Time

On February 25, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it cited an Ohio contractor for the sixth time since 2018, issuing new citations for exposing workers to fall hazards at two separate building sites. ILS Construction of Hartsville, Ohio, faces proposed penalties totaling $237,013.

The agency determined that ILS Construction and its owner, Ivan Lowky, failed to provide fall protection equipment to workers and train them in its use.

The agency alleged 3 willful, 2 repeat, and 2 serious violations. On December 2, 2021, agency compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) observed roofers employed by ILS Construction working on a residential home in Stow, Ohio.

OSHA cited the company and its owner for not providing fall protection and training, failing to ensure workers used hard hats and safety glasses, and not providing a ladder extended at least 3 feet (ft) above the landing surface.

At the time, OSHA already was investigating the company after observing employees working at heights greater than 10 ft on a Parma, Ohio, commercial building on October 27. OSHA cited the employer for a lack of fall protection and training and for not providing a ladder or another means to exit elevated surfaces safely.

OSHA previously cited ILS Construction and its owner for similar hazards in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Lowky has not paid previously issued OSHA penalties, according to the agency.

“Complying with federal safety regulations is not optional,” OSHA’s Cleveland Area Director, Howard Eberts, said in an agency statement.

“When an employer requires employees to work from heights greater than six feet, they must provide fall protection, appropriate equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely,” Eberts continued. “Fall hazards make roofing work among the most dangerous jobs in construction and the most frequently cited hazard by federal safety inspectors.

“Workers should expect their employer to keep them safe on the job and OSHA will hold employers accountable for failing to do so.”

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited standard and was cited 5,295 times in fiscal year (FY) 2021.

Amazon facility builders cited

On February 25, OSHA also announced violations at the construction site of an Amazon facility in Philadelphia, where the agency cited the primary contractor and a subcontractor.

OSHA also launched an inspection on July 27, 2021, at the site of a new Amazon facility in Philadelphia following a worker fatality in an excavation wall collapse.

The agency cited general contractor Gilbane Building Co. for 1 serious violation, with a proposed penalty of $14,502. It also cited subcontractor Mayfield Site Contractors Inc. with 1 willful and 3 serious violations and proposed penalties of $175,480.

Mayfield Site Contractors was hired by Gilbane Building to excavate soil and construct a retaining wall near a vertical shear cut excavation measuring approximately 200 ft in length and between 15 to 25 ft high. Four laborers working for Mayfield were manually leveling a bed of stone behind and on top of the retaining wall blocks in front of the 20-ft shear wall when the shear excavated wall collapsed on an employee, resulting in fatal crushing injuries.

Agency inspectors concluded Gilbane Building and Mayfield Site Contractors did not adequately protect employees from the excavated wall when they were working in front of it.

“Mayfield Site Contractors and Gilbane Building Co. did not provide the proper protection for the workers, resulting in a senseless loss of life,” OSHA’s Philadelphia Area Director, Theresa Downs, said in an agency statement.

Both Gilbane Building and Mayfield Site Contractors have filed letters of contest, according to OSHA.