Burbank construction company faces $80K in OSHA fines

(EVANSTON) A southwest suburban construction company is facing more than $80,000 in fines for failing to protect employees from falls and silica hazards while remodeling a home in August, according to the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Inspectors observed the Evanston work site on Aug. 25 and found that JW Construction & Plastering, Inc. “exposed workers to fall hazards of up to 25 feet and allowed them to apply stucco without adequate personal protective equipment,” the agency said in a statement.

Scaffold platforms at the work site were not fully planked, safe access to scaffold platforms did not exist and the scaffold was not secured to prevent tipping, the statement said.

OSHA issued two willful, two repeated and three serious safety violations and JW Construction & Plastering, Inc. consequently faces $80,741 in proposed penalties. The company was cited for similar violations in 2014.

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, the statement said.

“Preventable falls account for nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction industry, and silica presents a health hazard that can cause irreversible lung damage that can lead to long-term health concerns,” Angeline Loftus, OSHA’s area director at its Chicago North office in Des Plaines, said in the statement. “OSHA is committed to protecting construction workers from unnecessary illness, injuries or worse.”