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IL Builder Fined $174k for 30 Hazards

Friday, November 7, 2014

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An Illinois home builder with a history of federal safety violations is facing a new case alleging fall hazards at three different worksites.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has accused Bosco Custom Homes Inc. of 30 new violations: three willful, 20 serious and seven repeat, the agency announced Oct. 30. Proposed fines total $174,240.

The company still owes fines from OSHA citations issued last year, authorities said.

fall arrest
OSHA

Bosco Custom Homes has been cited for repeat, willful and serious violations regarding the lack of fall protection. A personal fall arrest system is one option of protection that OSHA requires for workers on construction sites who are exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more.

The company does not have a website, and a listed phone number was disconnected.

Previous Citations, Fines Unpaid

OSHA cited the company for similar violations in 2013.

Batavia-based Bosco Custom Homes has not provided authorities with documentation to prove that it fixed hazards identified in the previous inspection, and has not paid any of the $17,200 in penalties imposed.

"Bosco Custom Homes has failed to fix safety hazards related to falls,” said Jake Scott, OSHA's area director in North Aurora.

“This shows an inexcusable and deliberate lack of care for the safety and health of the company's employees.

“Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and allowing construction workers to be exposed to fall hazards without fall protection is unacceptable."

3 Inspections...

The latest citations stem from three separate inspections conducted earlier this year.

On April 30, an OSHA inspector observed eight workers engaged in framing operations on a ranch home under construction in Elgin, according to the agency.

The workers were constructing rafters in excess of 11 feet and were not provided a recommended means of fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems, the citation documents indicate.

inspector
© iStock.com / stask

The citations stem from OSHA inspections conducted at Bosco Homes jobsites in April and June 2014. Image does not show inspection in this case.

On June 10, employees were observed working without fall protection at a home in Wheaton, exposing them to fall of 19 feet.  

Nine days later, workers were reportedly exposed to falls of 12 feet without fall protection at another Elgin home under construction.

30 Violations

Bosco Custom Homes was cited for one willful violation alleging failure to provide fall protection at each of the work sites. Each violation carried a proposed fine of $30,800.

A willful violation is OSHA's highest level of infraction, reserved for violations "committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health."

The company also was cited for seven repeat violations, with fines ranging from $2,640 to $5,280, for failing to provide protective helmets, lack of fall protection training, improper use of an extension ladder, and other hazards.

OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the past five years.

OSHA
OSHA

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

Bosco Custom Homes was cited for similar violations in March 2013 at work sites in Plainfield and Naperville and in October 2013 at a work site in Elgin.

Additionally, OSHA issued citations for 20 serious violations related to scaffold hazards, struck-by and electrical hazards. Those citations carry fines totaling $51,920.

An OSHA violation is considered serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

OSHA Tools

OSHA offers information on falls and fall prevention on its website.

The standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities six feet or more above the next lower level.

Bosco Custom Homes has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply with or contest the citations.

   

Tagged categories: Citations; Enforcement; Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA

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