A Roselle, Illinois contractor with a long history of federal workplace safety violations who currently owes more than $390,000 in penalties, added an additional $303,105 in proposed fines for once again exposing workers to potential deadly fall hazards at a North Barrington job site.
Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed the safety violations on Feb. 15, 2022, and cited Emerald Inc. for three repeat violations, two willful violations and one serious safety violation. OSHA determined the company exposed workers to deadly fall hazards as they worked at heights of up to 13 feet above the ground without adequate fall protection and a lack of guardrails on ramps. The company also failed to train workers on the proper use of powered industrial vehicles and ensure the use of head, face and eye protection, and allowed workers to use ladders improperly.
OSHA opened the February inspection just three months after the agency observed workers of Emerald Inc. exposed to dangerous fall hazards at a job site in Park Ridge on Nov. 8, 2021. The company contested the citations issued by OSHA in May 2022, following the November inspection.
Emerald Inc. currently owes OSHA $390,214, in affirmed unpaid penalties from seven previous inspections. The company has not responded to OSHA citations issued in 2018, 2020 and 2021. A total of $160,422 in unpaid penalties have been referred for debt collection.
“Emerald Inc. continues to expose its workers to the construction industry’s leading cause of workplace deaths and the potential for serious injuries, debilitation or worse,” explained OSHA Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Arlington Heights, Illinois. “This company’s willingness to gamble with its workers’ lives will not be tolerated. OSHA will hold employers accountable for failing in their legal responsibility to provide safe working conditions.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
This article was first published in Insurance Journal.