A roofing contractor says competing companies have started an “OSHA war” by reporting violations by their competitors. He says he now has no choice but to “stoop to their level.”
This all started with the most recent fines issued by OSHA to Tip Top Roofing & Construction, based in Sycamore, IL, in connection with a residential construction project.
OSHA issued two willful and four serious violations to Tip Top with total proposed fines of $124,780.
The two willful violations were for:
- exposing worker to fall hazards of about 22 feet because the company failed to provide fall protection, and
- failing to extend a ladder at least three feet above the landing to provide safe roof access.
The serious violations include allowing roofing work near energized power lines, lack of PPE and allowing workers to carry equipment while climbing ladders.
Tip Top was cited multiple times by OSHA since 2008, most recently in 2013.
OSHA conducted the latest investigation after receiving a complaint alleging workers were exposed to fall hazards at the construction site in DeKalb, IL.
And that’s where Tip Top owner Kapu Aluli’s allegations of an OSHA war come into play.
Aluli says his competitors have started an “OSHA war.” The companies report violations by their competitors to OSHA to drive them out of business.
The owner of Tip Top also claims very few contractors are fully OSHA compliant.
Aluli told the Daily Chronicle he’s “had no choice but to stoop to our competitors’ level and call in violations we see.”
Aluli says he plans to fight the most recent OSHA violations. He says the workers who violated OSHA regs weren’t from his company – they were a subcontractor’s employees. Aluli says the subcontractor told him it would handle safety, but never did. Aluli didn’t name the subcontractor.
How do you fight an OSHA war? Here’s one potential solution: Don’t have any OSHA violations. Up to one in four OSHA inspections are categorized as “no violations.” So even if your competitors are out to get you by calling OSHA, it doesn’t mean you have to get fined.