A Trenton, New Jersey, roofing contractor faces Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties totaling $584,333 for fall protection and other violations at a Toll Brothers Inc. residential construction project, the agency announced January 12. The agency cited Guelsin Lima, operating as Extreme Roofing and Siding LLC, for nine willful and three serious violations.
During an inspection at an Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, worksite, OSHA inspectors observed 4 workers on a roof exposed to a 30-foot fall hazard without fall protection, along with other violations. Safety violations included exposing workers to fall hazards, improperly using ladders, and failing to provide head and eye protection.
“Guelsin Lima has a significant OSHA history and is fully aware of what OSHA standards require,” Lisa Levy, OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, area director, said in an agency statement.
“This latest inspection offers further proof that the operator of Extreme Roofing and Siding LLC simply refuses to comply with the law,” she explained.
“We will use our full authority to hold this employer, and others who continually put employees in danger, accountable.”
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, 378 of the 986 construction workers who died on the job in 2021 were fatally injured in falls from elevation.
Lima has 15 business days upon receiving the OSHA citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Massachusetts utility facing $333,560 in OSHA penalties
A Massachusetts utility is facing $333,560 in OSHA penalties after a fatal arc flash and arc blast in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood led to a worker’s death, the agency announced January 12.
Eversource Energy Service Co., an energy provider in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, was cited for five violations of workplace safety standards—two willful and three serious. OSHA investigators found that Eversource:
- Did not fully de-energize electrical equipment or follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations when employees conducted maintenance;
- Failed to make a reasonable estimate of the heat energy to which employees would be exposed if an arc flash and blast occurred; and
- Did not adequately train employees on electrical equipment hazards, provide rescue equipment, or test oxygen levels before the employees entered the vault, an enclosed space.
On July 12, 2022, Eversource employees were doing maintenance work on electrical equipment located inside an underground electrical vault at 28 Bowdoin St. in Boston. As one employee set the equipment back into place, an arc flash and blast occurred inside the vault. The employee suffered severe burns and later died.
“Eversource could have prevented this arc flash and blast–and its tragic outcome–by ensuring effective and necessary training, procedures, and work practices were provided and followed,” James Mulligan, OSHA’s Braintree, Massachusetts, area director, said in an agency statement.
“The company knew the hazards related to this type of high voltage equipment, yet it failed to safeguard its employees as the law requires.”