US Department of Labor twice finds Suamico general contractor exposing workers to potentially deadly fall hazards; proposes $37K in fine
SUAMICO, WI – On a chilly March morning, a federal workplace safety inspector observed five roofers atop a Wrightstown residence, working at heights up to 23 feet without required fall protection. The inspector later found the fall protection equipment piled in a bucket on the ground next to a work truck.
A month later, another inspector observed three workers without adequate fall protection on a roof in Seymour. When asked about the risks, the foreman claimed the crew had begun the shift with required fall protection equipment, but they later removed it so as not to slow their work.
An OSHA inspector found required safety harnesses in a bucket on the ground as roofers worked without protection atop a Wrightstown residence.
In both instances, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Overhead Solutions Inc. of Suamico was the general contractor who assigned both crews, and who was responsible for their safety on March 14 and April 19, 2022. OSHA cited the contractor for exposing workers to falls and not ensuring fall protection equipment was used effectively. The agency identified the failures as three serious violations and proposed penalties of $37,293.
"Falls from elevations have proven to be a deadly hazard. In 2020, falls took the lives of 351 workers, losses that could have prevented if their employers had ensured that fall arrest systems were used properly,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton, Wisconsin. “Having safety equipment at the work site and failing to ensure its use is inexcusable. OSHA will continue to hold employers accountable when they fail to meet legal requirements to provide safe working conditions.”
The department found that while Overhead Solutions maintained control of the jobsite, job bidding and crew assignments, the company falsely designated the workers as subcontractors.
Overhead Solutions, a division of Infinity Exteriors LLC, provides residential and commercial roofing, window replacement, siding and other services in northeast and northern Wisconsin.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,008 construction workers died on the job in 2020, with 351 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation.
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.