Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 5


May 21, 2024

 

Waukegan roofing contractor finally pays $365K in penalties for endangering employees when Department of Labor moves to seize employer’s property

US Department of Labor uses debt collection to force compliance

 

CHICAGO – Joshua Herion, a Waukegan roofing contractor who has routinely endangered employees by ignoring federal workplace standards and penalties assesses for its violations since 2014, has paid $365,576 in fines and interest, after the U.S. Department of Labor moved to seize the employer's assets as part of the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration debt collection program.

The action follows a January 2024 federal court's default order to pay the outstanding penalties, attorney's fees, and interest for repeatedly exposing employees to falls from elevations in 2022. Falls are the leading cause of death and serious injuries for people employed in the construction industry. Since 2014, OSHA has cited Herion and his companies nine times for violations related to fall protection.

Using the judgment by District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo, the department filed liens on Herion's real property in Illinois in March 2024 and filed a motion to compel responses to its asset discovery on May 6, 2024, to get information on other collectable assets. That notice prompted Herion to finally comply with the court order and make payment. On May 20, 2024, the department filed a notice of satisfaction of judgment with the Northern District of Illinois' Eastern Division to confirm Herion, operator of ECS Roofing Professionals Inc., had made the required payments.

"The Department of Labor took unprecedented action to force Joshua Herion and his company, ECS Roofing Professionals Inc., to respond to a federal court and pay more than $360,000 in penalties for putting his workers lives and well-being in danger repeatedly," said Regional Solicitor of Labor Christine Heri in Chicago. "Herion exhausted his rightful appeals process and even after the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and the courts upheld the OSHA penalties, he refused to comply until his personal property was jeopardized."

On Aug. 23, 2023, the department filed a debt collection action in the district court, resulting in the court issuing the default judgment in January 2024, after Herion continually refused to pay the debt and accept the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decision on March 6, 2023. The commission decision affirmed OSHA citations issued to Herion and ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. for exposing employees to deadly fall hazards at job sites in Illinois and Wisconsin in October 2022.

"Federal regulations require employers to meet their legal obligation to protect workers on the job," said OSHA Region Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago. "OSHA will hold employers like Herion and ECS Roofing Professionals accountable when they callously ignore their responsibility for their employees' safety. Every year, too many construction workers fall victim to the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the industry because employers fail to provide or use fall protection."

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-4727, allen.scott@dol.gov
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-4807, burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Release Number: 24-1002-CHI