A New Jersey contractor, and one of the state’s biggest safety violators, is being held personally liable for $2 million in OSHA fines.
An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission granted OSHA’s motion for summary judgment against Juan Quevedo-Garcia, owner of BB Frame LLC, on Feb. 25.
Dissolved former company, continued to work under its name
OSHA conducted five inspections at four of BB Frame’s worksites beginning in December 2019. Fall protection and other violations found on the worksites led to a proposed $2,004,225 fine against both the company and Quevedo-Garcia personally.
Quevedo-Garcia dissolved a previous framing company, Frame Q LLC, earlier in 2019 after racking up more than $700,000 in unpaid OSHA fines for similar violations. Later, he formed the new company, but still did business under the Frame Q trade name.
5 inspections in 3 months = 8 willful, 10 repeat, 12 serious violations
The first two inspections were conducted in response to a complaint that resulted in nine violations and a $520,860 fine at one site and five citations and a fine of $426,785 at another.
In January 2020, a local emphasis program for fall protection led to another inspection, resulting in five citations and a $405,588 fine.
Two more inspections were conducted in February 2020, resulting from a complaint and the local emphasis program. This led to 11 more citations and fines totaling $643,892.
These five inspections resulted in eight willful, 10 repeat and 12 serious violations for fall, head and eye, ladder, scaffolding, housekeeping, forklift and fire safety hazards.
Abused corporate form to circumvent OSHA
Quevedo-Garcia contested the citations on Aug. 27, 2020, and OSHA filed a request for summary judgment at that time.
The judge found that Quevedo-Garcia abused his company’s corporate form to circumvent OSHA and held him personally liable for the company’s violations to prevent him from doing so again.