November 27, 2019
U.S. Department of Labor Cites and Fines Maine Roofing Contractor
For Willfully and Repeatedly Endangering Employees
AUGUSTA, ME – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Shawn D. Purvis – owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc. based in Saco, Maine – for willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations at a jobsite in Springvale, Maine. The roofing contractor faces a total of $278,456 in new penalties.
OSHA initiated an inspection on May 23, 2019, in response to a complaint. Inspectors found three employees working on a two-story residential roof without fall protection. OSHA also cited the employer for allowing employees to work on scaffolds near energized power lines, and using ladders with side rails that did not extend at least 3 feet above upper work surfaces.
“OSHA regulations require that employees working at heights wear fall protection,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “This employer’s ongoing defiance of the law continues to place his workers at risk for disabling and fatal injuries.”
OSHA inspected and cited Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc. for safety violations seven times in the last seven years. OSHA cited the employer in June 2019 for 17 violations, carrying penalties of $1,792,726, following an employee’s fatal fall from a roof in Portland, Maine. Inspections in December 2018 identified many of the same violations. A Portland grand jury indicted Purvis for manslaughter and workplace manslaughter on April 5, 2019, charging that his repeated violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards caused a worker fatality.
OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on fall hazards on the OSHA Fall Protection webpage at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/.
Purvis has 15 business days from receipt of the latest 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.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
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Release Number: 19-2039-BOS/BOS 2019-196
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