Illinois Contractor Faces $277K in Fines for Deadly Fall Hazard Exposure

Three times in four months, federal safety inspectors observed workers employed by a Calumet City roofing contractor exposed to deadly fall hazards at job sites in Lake Zurich and Wheeling. In each instance, the company’s foremen on site failed to protect workers from known hazards as they did residential framing work on new homes under construction.

Following three investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Araujo Construction Corp. faces $277,524 in proposed penalties after workplace safety inspectors identified two willful, four repeat and six serious violations on May 5, Aug. 22 and Sept. 14, 2022.

On May 5, OSHA inspectors informed company officials and a foreman at the Lake Zurich site that they were violating federal law by allowing employees to work at heights of more than 30 feet without fall protection. On Aug. 22, inspectors returned to Lake Zurich to find Araujo’s workers again exposed to the fall hazards. Then on Sept. 14, OSHA inspectors found the company committing similar violations in Wheeling as employees worked at heights over 15 feet. OSHA requires that guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest systems, or some combination of these, be used during roofing activities at 6 feet or more above lower levels.

The agency also determined that Araujo Construction Corp. allowed workers to use ladders improperly and work on evaluated platforms without fall prevention, such as rails and kickboards. The company also failed to make sure workers using air-powered nail guns wore eye, head and face protection, and did not provide training on safe use of forklifts.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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