Contractor cited again for job site violations

Contractor cited again for job site violations

Repeat of safety hazards in Savoy draws $85,800 fine

SAVOY — Roofing contractor Juan Manuel Antonio-Martinez has been cited for three willful safety violations for exposing workers to fall hazards at two home sites in Savoy this spring.

It's the fifth time since 2011 the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company for similar violations.

According to the agency, Antonio-Martinez has not cooperated with OSHA during previous inspections, and the company has not paid any portion of the $110,880 in total penalties assessed from those inspections.

In the latest case involving home sites in Savoy on March 26 and April 9 of this year, OSHA has proposed penalties of $85,800.

In an agency release, Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria, said, "Antonio-Martinez failed to acknowledge OSHA's presence at the work site or address ways to abate hazards. ... Allowing these types of hazards without fall protection is inexcusable. The employer's choice to ignore OSHA's common sense safety regulations demonstrates a complete disregard for employee safety."

The job sites included a home under construction on Denton Drive and an existing home on Patriot Lane.

In inspections at both home sites, an OSHA compliance officer saw employees working on roofs without fall protection. OSHA regulations require the use of guardrail systems, safety nets, warning-line systems or personal fall arrest systems.

Antonio-Martinez was cited for one willful violation at each location for failure to provide fall protection.

A third willful violation was cited when the inspector saw workers leave the roof using an extension ladder that extended only 1 foot above the landing surface of the roof. OSHA rules require that ladders extend at least 3 feet over the landing surface.

The roofing contractor had been cited for similar violations in 2011, 2012 and 2013 at work sites in Paris, Champaign and Mahomet.

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said the agency has not been able to locate Antonio-Martinez, but that did not preclude the agency from citing him with the hope that it will eventually find him.

Antonio-Martinez has 15 business days from the receipt of his citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with Bielema or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA said falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Failing to provide required fall protection is one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. OSHA requires that fall protection be used when workers perform construction activities six feet or more above the next lower level.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 19, 2014 at 6:08 am
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Who wants to bet that "Juan Manuel Antonio-Martinez" does not exist?