Holding Violators Accountable

US Department of Labor sues Waukegan contractor who refuses to pay more than $360K in penalties for repeatedly endangering roofing employees

Contractor operating as ECS Roofing Professionals cited 9 times since 2014

Photo: OSHA

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit in federal court to force a Waukegan roofing contractor to pay $360,531 in penalties for repeatedly exposing employees to falls from elevations, the leading cause of fatal injuries in the construction industry.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, the action follows an Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decision on March 6, 2023, that affirmed the citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after its investigation found that Joshua Herion — operator of ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. — exposed employees to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in Illinois and Wisconsin in October 2022.

Specifically, OSHA determined the contractor did not provide employees required fall arrest systems, a safety net or guardrails as they installed siding and roofing materials atop roofs in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and at a job site in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

After OSHA issued citations and fined ECS Roofing $226,530 for the Illinois violations and $134,001 for violations in Wisconsin, the company contested the citations and penalties with the commission. Despite the commission’s decision affirming the penalties in full, Herion has failed to pay the penalties which led the department’s Office of the Solicitor in Chicago to file suit to recover the penalties.

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New AGC Mental Health Video to Share with All Employees

Original article published by  AGC

AGC of America released the fourth video in its series of mental health videos today for member firms to share with all employees. The video features Shayne Dinkle, a Seattle-area safety manager for iron workers, who lost a son to suicide. The pain and anger from that incident brought him close to taking his own life. But the support and compassion he received from his co-workers helped him overcome. The message from the video is clear, it is okay to share your pain, ask for help and offer it to co-workers who are suffering. The video is part of a broader AGC effort to help overcome a construction industry mental health crisis that has resulted in the industry having a suicide rate that is four-times the national average. In addition to the video, AGC has collected a host of resources for member firms and chapters to use as they address the industry’s mental health challenges. You can find those resources here.

McCraren Compliance offers training and programs to support companies in suicide awareness and prevention. Contact us for additional information to help you with this very important workplace safety.

CPWR: Construction industry accounts for about half of job-related electrical deaths

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Roughly half of the fatal workplace injuries related to electricity exposure in a recent 10-year period occurred in construction, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Using 2011-2020 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, researchers identified 1,501 fatal occupational electrical injuries in all industries. Of those, 49.1% involved construction workers. Additionally, 24.4% of nonfatal electrical injuries occurred in construction. CPWR says the industry employs 7% of the U.S. workforce.

Overall, fatal injuries were more often a result of direct exposure (58.8%) than indirect (38.9%). Direct exposure is associated with contacting a live wire, while indirect exposure may include operating a crane that touches a power line.

The researchers also analyzed OSHA enforcement data. Among their findings:

  • In 2020, establishments with fewer than 10 employees accounted for 71.5% of OSHA citations for violations of federal electrical standards, while comprising 81.4% of establishments overall.
  • By North American Industry Classification System code, 70.5% of citations for electrical standards involved specialty trade contractors; the NAICS code for construction of buildings (26.1%) and heavy and civil engineering construction (3.4%) followed. Specialty trade contractors accounted for 71.1% of fatal electrical injuries.
  • OSHA citations for violations of federal electrical standards decreased 73.5% from 2011 to 2021. Electrical standard citations comprised 2.7% of citations in construction in 2021 – down from 6.5% in 2011.

The report was published in the November issue of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

USDOL announces proposed rule to update powered industrial trucks standard

First published by OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve worker safety and health by ensuring the agency’s general industry and construction industry rules reflect current industry practice and state-of-the-art technology.

The proposed rule will update the design and construction requirements for OSHA’s powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction, including fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other specialized industrial trucks powered by an electric motor or an internal combustion engine.

Under the proposed rule, OSHA will update its general industry and construction standards for powered industrial trucks by adding references to the latest design and construction requirements published by the American National Standards Institute in conjunction with the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation.

The first standard for powered industrial trucks took effect in 1971, based on industry consensus standards in 1969. Since then, national consensus standards have been updated several times.

In addition to updating the design and construction requirements for future manufactured powered industrial trucks, the proposed rule will also address equipment manufactured before the effective date of the final rule.

This proposal is part of a series of regulatory projects by OSHA to update nearly 200 consensus and industry standards to reflect the current versions of consensus and national industry standards.

Submit comments online, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2020-0008 at the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Read the Federal Register notice for submission instructions. Deadline for submitting comments is May 17, 2022.

Learn more about powered industrial trucks.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

OSHA Provides Additional Resources to Prevent Heat Illness and Death on Construction Jobsites

Prevent Heat Illness and Death on Construction Jobsites

Photo property of OSHA

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 40% of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry.  As with all incidents, heat illness is entirely preventable, provided you develop and implement the appropriate preventive measures.

On July 15, OSHA released additional materials to educate the workforce on heat illness prevention. These resources include:

These add to the materials OSHA issued on July 2, which include:

Visit osha.gov for heat planning and supervision and heat illness prevention guidance to help you protect your workers. Also, visit your app store to download the Heat Safety Tool smartphone app from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, which provides the heat index (temperature and relative humidity), symptoms of and first aid treatment for heat illness, FAQs and additional tips for working in the heat.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Suicide in the Construction Industry: Breaking the Stigma and Silence

A suicide occurs every 12 minutes in the U.S. While these incidents touch every industry, one industry in particular has felt the impact of suicide in recent years – construction and extraction. A CDC study found that in 2012 and 2015, suicide rates were highest among males in the construction and extraction occupational group. Continue reading»