Rules + Regs

Thirteen arrests made in Florida unlicensed contractor sting

Thirteen unlicensed contractors were arrested during a sting operation in Pasco County, Fla., according to The joint operation between Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ fraud detectives, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau was launched to address unlicensed contractors who failed to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.

From April 18-28, the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services’ Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud and the other agencies conducted a joint sting operation leading to the arrest of the individuals, who were booked into the Pasco County Jail on charges that include failure to obtain workers’ compensation coverage and unlicensed contracting. If found guilty, the individuals could each face up to five years in prison.

Following the operation, Patronis said: “Workers’ compensation fraud places employees, customers and businesses at unnecessary risk. Fraud also affects everyone’s rates and increases costs. This type of fraud is unethical and dangerous and absolutely will not be tolerated in our state.”

DOL makes changes to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

To strengthen enforcement and improve compliance with workplace safety standards and reduce worker injuries and illnesses, the Department of Labor has expanded the criteria for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, according to The changes took effect Sept. 15.

The new criteria include violations of all hazards and OSHA standards and continues to focus on repeat offenders in all industries. Previously, an employer could be in the program for failing to meet a limited number of standards; the changes broaden the program’s scope with the possibility that additional industries may fall within its parameters.

Since 2010, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program has focused on enforcement and inspection resources regarding employers that willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws or demonstrate a refusal to correct previous violations. In addition to being included on a public list of the U.S.’ severe violators, employers are subject to follow-up inspections.

The updated criteria include:

  • Program placement for employers with citations for at least two willful or repeated violations or receipt of failure-to-abate notices based on the presence of high-gravity serious violations
  • Follow-up or referral inspections made one year—but not longer than two years—after the final order
  • Potential removal from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program three years after verification the employer has abated all program-related hazards. In the past, removal could occur three years after the final order date.
  • Employers’ ability to reduce time spent in the program to two years if they consent to an enhanced settlement agreement that includes use of a safety and health management system with seven basic elements in OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs

Ohio contractor faces $1 million in fines after inspection

Charm Builders Ltd., a Millersburg, Ohio-based roofing and siding contractor, faces more than $1 million in penalties after Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found employees working at dangerous heights without fall protection at a West Virginia worksite, according to This marks the 12th time since 2009 that OSHA has cited the company for violations related to fall hazards. Charm Builders is not an NRCA member.

Responding to a complaint March 29 from roofing workers on a two-story office building without fall protection, OSHA inspectors found Charm Builders allowing employees—some at heights up to 28 feet—to work without required protection.

OSHA issued citations for 12 violations—six egregious-willful, five repeat and one serious—for failing to ensure the use of fall protection; not training employees regarding fall hazards; allowing unsafe use of portable ladders; and not ensuring workers used safety glasses. OSHA has placed the contractor on its severe violators list.

The agency has proposed $1.09 million in penalties. Charm Builders had 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.

New York comptroller report deems construction site inspections inadequate

A new report shows nearly 90% of active New York City construction sites visited by the state comptroller’s office had safety issues, and the city’s Department of Buildings does not effectively prioritize which sites get inspected, according to

Officials from the New York State Comptroller visited 18 active construction sites during summer 2021 and reported 16 of those sites had a total of 77 safety issues, such as not having a site safety manager; missing or incomplete site safety logs and daily inspection records; and no documentation of workers completing required safety training or attending mandatory safety meetings.

The report states in 60% of cases where hazardous conditions were present for more than 30 days, the Department of Buildings did not issue a citation for failing to correct the problem.

Although the department agreed with most key recommendations in the report, Commissioner Eric Ulrich said in an email to the deputy comptroller that “it is important to note that the onus is on contractors and site safety professionals” to ensure safety on construction sites. He said though the Department of Buildings has procedures in place to follow up regarding injuries and fatalities, there are “practical limitations that at times prevent DOB from becoming aware of deaths that occur after an incident or accident has occurred at a construction site.”

However, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in the report it is the Department of Buildings’ responsibility to enforce construction site safety regulations: “When [it] is aware of a pattern of noncompliance, such as unaddressed safety issues, it should escalate enforcement actions.”

To identify the safety issues cited in the report, New York State Comptroller officials visited 43 construction sites—18 of which actively were under construction—between June 10, 2021, and Aug. 31, 2021. However, Ulrich said Department of Buildings staff were not present during those visits, and the department could not act against any potential violations.

The department reported 2,003 building construction-related incidents occurred between Jan. 1, 2018, and May 15, 2021, that resulted in 36 deaths and 2,066 injuries.

The comptroller’s report said the Department of Buildings needs to enhance its efforts to ensure owners, contractors and other responsible parties report all building construction site incidents and comply with codes, rules and regulations. The report found enforcement activities do not address hazardous on-site conditions in a timely manner; the department does not prioritize which sites should be proactively inspected for safety conditions; and the procedures to identify incidents and report injuries and deaths at building construction sites are inadequate.



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