Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other


Company criminally charged for issuing fraudulent OSHA training cards after worker dies

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. speaks during a Feb. 28 press conference on the fraudulent safety training.Photo: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

New York — The New York State Supreme Court has indicted a company for operating a “sham safety training school” connected to the death of a “trainee” on a construction site.

Beginning in December 2019, Valor Security and Investigations allegedly issued safety certificates and cards to about 20,000 “students.” During that time, the company was New York City’s third-largest distributor of safety certifications.

The wide-ranging legal action includes six Valor executives and employees and another 19 individuals who served as brokers between Valor and workers seeking safety certification.

“Valor employees had long-standing payment arrangements with brokers to obtain 40-hour safety cards, supervisor cards and specialized training cards within days, overnight or even within the same day, which were often backdated,” a Feb. 28 press release from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office states. “Valor charged anywhere from $300 to $600 per filing for a basic safety training card; many payments were in cash.”

Another four individuals were charged with reckless endangerment after the death of 36-year-old Ivan Frias, who fell from the 15th floor at a West End Avenue construction site in 2022. Valor is alleged to have filed fraudulent paperwork stating Frias completed 10 hours of safety training, including eight hours of fall protection.

“In the construction industry, fraud can mean life or death – not only for the individuals working on the site, but for the general public that moves around them every single day,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. said in the release. “We allege that Valor Security and Investigations ran a fraudulent safety training school, falsely claiming that construction workers received the necessary training required to work on construction sites. We also allege that the death of one recipient, Ivan Frias, may have been prevented if not for the defendants’ reckless failure to train him.”

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication