See what you think about this: OSHA fines a company in connection with a worker’s death. The owner says he won’t pay the fines because the government is “the biggest bully there is.”
On May 15, 2012, Linwood Stover’s Kennebec Home Improvement was making repairs on a camp building in Albion, Maine.
One employee, Bobbie Rodriques, crawled under the building to do some work. Something shifted and the building collapsed, killing Rodriques.
OSHA says the building had been jacked off its foundation and onto blocks. Stover contests that, saying the building had collapsed when it was on its existing posts.
In an interview with the Bangor Daily News, Stover said he’s not going to pay $9,420 in fines for three serious violations.
Along with the bully comment, Stover told the newspaper, “[OSHA’s] system is way broken. They need to fix their system before they try to fix mine.”
The business owner called the experience “traumatic,” noting that Rodriques was a friend of his who needed money. Stover says he hired him for the day to give him a job.
This isn’t the first time Stover has faced OSHA.
In 2010, OSHA fined his company $6,750 for five serious violations involving wiring design, ladders and tools.
Stover never paid that fine but didn’t formally contest it either. OSHA says the fine is still unpaid.
He has 15 business days from receiving the most recent citations to decide whether to contest them.