As part of efforts to call out offenders and highlight safety best practices, OSHA frequently publicizes cases where inspections or investigations result in hefty fines.
The biggest of these cases often involve residential builders that usually have a history of failing to provide workers with adequate protection from hazards — most commonly exposure to heights. In fact, the the agency recently revealed the most frequently cited standard was general fall protection requirements, with 7,271 violations in fiscal year 2023, which ended in September. Employers usually contest the fines and negotiate with the agency to reduce their cost.
Here are some of the largest initial fines highlighted by OSHA in the third quarter of 2023:
JMH Roofing LLC
OSHA inspectors allegedly observed employees of Millersburg, Ohio-based JMH Roofing working at heights of up to 19 feet without fall protection at four residential roofing jobsites in Ohio, despite having fall protection available on site.
Within three months on these four sites, inspectors found workers at heights without fall or eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns, according to the release. The company also allowed employees to work without properly extended ladders.
The eight willful and two repeat violations across four different citations resulted in fines totaling $548,801.
Jonas Hershberger operates JMH Roofing and RAM Roofing LLC, and OSHA claims he has a “history of disregard for workplace safety regulations, with numerous citations to these two companies since 2018.”
A JMH spokesperson declined Construction Dive’s request to comment on the citations.
Cheltenham Construction Services
Status: Informal settlement ($167,669)
Twice in two months, OSHA inspected a Washington, Missouri, siding contractor’s jobsites, finding it had allegedly exposed workers to fall hazards as they performed roofing and siding work.
The agency conducted two inspections — one in February 2023 in Lake St. Louis and another in April 2023 in O’Fallon — finding the Cheltenham Construction Services had permitted workers at heights above 6 feet without the proper fall arrest systems. In Lake St. Louis, the contractor allegedly failed to protect employees using nail guns from eye and face hazards, according to the release.
Across the two citations, Cheltenham Construction Services faces initial fines of $334,618 from two repeat and two serious violations. OSHA has cited the company seven times since 2015 for fall protection violations.
In an informal settlement, Cheltenham negotiated both of the citations down, and OSHA’s website lists the current penalties at a combined $167,669.
Construction Dive reached out to Cheltenham for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Avila’s Roofing LLC
An OSHA investigation into a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, roofing contractor resulted in two willful, two serious and one other-than-serious violation, with initial fines totaling nearly $330,000.
The agency alleges it observed employees of Avila’s Roofing working at heights of up to 27 feet without fall protection in February, and also learned the company had not provided employees with effective safety training on fall hazards. The company also permitted the employees to work without eye and face