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The top 8 OSHA fines of Q2 2022

The heftiest OSHA citations levied against contractors in the second quarter of 2022 included fines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — sometimes accumulating from multiple jobsite inspections. 

From unsafe trenches to unaddressed fall hazards, read on about the largest fines OSHA issued to construction in Q2 2022. 

Arrow Plumbing and Rick Smith

Fines: $796,817

Status: Contested

Blue Springs, Missouri-based contractor Arrow Plumbing and owner Rick Smith are contesting nearly $800,000 in fines from seven serious, four willful and one repeat violation following an inspection of a Grain Valley, Missouri, jobsite according to a Department of Labor release. OSHA issued the fines April 5.

OSHA inspectors at the jobsite in October 2021 said Arrow Plumbing willfully allowed workers to enter a trench without providing cave-in-protection. The agency said the employer also allowed water to accumulate, compromising the integrity of the excavation’s walls, and failed to keep solid piles from the edge. OSHA found the company also exposed workers to other hazards, including failing to provide hardhats and allowing them to walk under suspended loads.

Arrow Plumbing has a history of citations stemming from excavation-related hazards. Following a worker fatality investigation in 2016, the company settled with OSHA in 2018 and agreed to hire a safety consultant to design and implement a trench safety program. However, Arrow Plumbing did not hire any such consultant until February 2021, three years after it had promised to do so, OSHA said.

“Even though Arrow Plumbing and owner Rick Smith agreed to implement a comprehensive trench safety program after a previous fatal trench collapse, employees were again found to be working in an unprotected trench,” said Karena Lorek, OSHA area director for Kansas City, Missouri, in the release. “This conduct is unacceptable, and OSHA will do everything possible to hold Mr. Smith accountable for failing to protect his workers.”

Construction Dive called a publicly available number for Arrow Plumbing and did not receive response to a request for comment on the matter.

All Best Contractor Corp.

Fines: $793,290

Status: Issued

OSHA initiated six inspections at five All Best Contractor jobsites in southern New Jersey in fall 2021 and winter 2022. In each inspection, OSHA said it found the framing contractor did not provide workers doing sheathing and framing work on roofs with the proper or required fall protection. The agency said workers also used damaged, unsafe ladders and faced electrical hazards. Philadelphia-based All Best Contractor also failed to provide eye and head protection and train employees on forklift use, according to OSHA.

Across six inspections resulting in fines ranging from $101,519 to $321,956, OSHA cited the contractor April 14 with seven willful and 11 serious safety violations. 

Construction Dive called a publicly available number for All Best Contractor, and, upon hearing identification as a news publication, the party on the other end hung up.

ARP Renovation/A.R.P. Roofing & Siding

Fines: $501,376

Status: Contested

On April 11, OSHA proposed over $500,000 in fines for a Maine contractor owned and operated by Andrew Raymond Pollock due to failure to provide fall protection and safety for employees. Pollock owns and operates both ARP Renovation and New Jersey-based A.R.P. Roofing & Siding. Citations include three egregious willful violations, five serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.

OSHA responded to reports of workers exposed to fall hazards while working on a residential project in Hampden, Maine, according to a release, where inspectors found at least five employees exposed to falls of 10 to 18 feet. The agency requires fall protection for residential construction when workers are above 6 feet.

After repeatedly informing Pollock of the requirement, his “continuously refusing to correct this hazard” led OSHA to issue a rare “imminent danger notice” on the jobsite, per the release.

OSHA said it also cited Pollock for fall-related hazards at New Jersey jobsites in 2014 and 2021. 

In a phone call with Construction Dive, Pollock criticized OSHA for its practices, claiming the agency cares more about building a case against him than making jobsites safer.

“They don’t want to save people and stop people from being injured, they’d like to (expletive) put people out of business,” Pollock said. 

Pollock downplayed the height at which his employees worked and indicated he had gotten written statements from those workers saying they were given harnesses. Pollock claimed OSHA took photos at inopportune times, when workers weren’t hooked in yet, and waited for the right moment to do so. 

“[I’m not] saying I didn’t do nothing, I’m saying I did 66 in a 65 and I’m being charged with vehicular homicide,” Pollock said.