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Builder Fined $153K in Latest OSHA Case

Thursday, July 30, 2015

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A Florida-based contractor has been fined more than $153,000 for willful, serious and repeat violations after federal workplace safety officials found employees at risk.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations in June to Transformers Construction Services Inc., also known as Buildtronix LLC, of Jacksonville, for “continuing to put employees at risk of dangerous falls and eye protection hazards,” the agency said in a July 16 statement.

OSHA said the company’s owner, Leanna Richardson, has had six safety hazard inspections since 2011. It has recommended that she be placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which requires follow-up inspections to ensure companies are in compliance with OSHA regulations.

scaffolding
OSHA

OSHA has imposed more than $153,000 in fines against a contractor known as Transformers Construction and Buildtronix LLC for willul and serious violations. The image above does not reflect the jobsites in this case.

“Following our seventh inspection in three years, Ms. Richardson dissolved Transformers Construction and registered two new companies, Buildtronix LLC and Innobuilders LLC, but continues not to follow OSHA regulations,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville.

“This practice doesn’t change the employer’s obligation to ensure all employees return home at the end of their work day.”

The most recent inspections took place at two residential locations where Transformers and Buildtronix were working. The first inspection took place in February, while the second took place in April.

2 Serious, 1 Willful

In February, the agency found Transformers workers exposed to two serious and one willful violation, according to the agency’s citation.

The first serious infraction allegedly involved an aluminum extension ladder not extending 36 inches above the upper landing surface, while the second found an employee standing on the top rung of the ladder.

OSHA
Koralie Hill / OSHA

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers.

For the two serious violations in February, OSHA has assessed $6,930 in penalties, the agency said.

The willful violation allegedly involved the company not providing fall protection for its workers. The agency said that Transformers had been in violation of the same standard on five separate inspections: once in 2011, once in 2013 and three times in 2014.

For the willful violation, OSHA has imposed a fine of $76,930.

1 Willful, 1 Repeat

By the time the agency inspected the second jobsite in April, the company had changed its name to Buildtronix. But the company still was engaged in safety hazards, the OSHA citation alleged.

During the April inspection, OSHA cited the company for one willful and one repeat violation. The willful violation issued for the lack of fall protection also had been issued to Transformers six previous times: once in 2012, once in 2013 and four times in 2014.

For the willful violation in April, OSHA levied a penalty of $70,000.

On the repeat violation, OSHA determined that Buildtronix workers were not wearing proper eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns. The agency said Transformers had been cited for this violation in 2014.

For the repeat violation in April, OSHA fined Buildtronix $6,160.

Payments Due

Michelle Gonzalez, assistant area director for OSHA’s Jacksonville office, said that the company has not contested the fines.

Companies have 15 days to appeal citations. In this case, that time has passed already, she said.

None of the companies listed on the citations have a website. The Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, has a Jacksonville address listed for the company. However, the state does not list a phone number for Richardson.

   

Tagged categories: Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA; OSHA; Safety equipment

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