PROVIDENCE – A Fall River contractor may be facing up to $60,000 in fines from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, following the inspection of an East Providence job site.
Homeland Builders Inc. has been cited by OSHA’s Providence office for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards. According to a Department of Labor press release, inspectors at the 295 Willett Ave. job site observed that employees “lacked adequate guardrails and a safe means of access, and one leg of the scaffold was not set on a firm foundation.”
The contractor was also cited for a lack of eye and head protection, electric shock hazards and use of an unguarded grinder.
“While it is fortunate that no one was injured here, good luck is never an acceptable worker safeguard,” said Patrick Griffin, Rhode Island area director, OSHA. “These workers faced potential death or serious injury from these conditions, several of which were similar to those for which OSHA cited this employer in the past.”
OSHA had cited Homeland Builders in 2007 and 2008 for similar hazards at jobsites in Braintree, Mass., and Milford, Conn. Proposed fines for the current violations include three repeat citations totaling $52,500 for the fall, guardrail and eye protection hazards.
An additional $7,500 in fines were proposed for four serious citations stemming from the remaining violations. According to the press release, a serious citation is issued “when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.”
Upon receiving the citations, Homeland Builders has 15 days to comply, meet with OSHA or go before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission to contest the citations and proposed penalties.