Area contractor has history of violations, faces nearly $73K in fines

Inspectors from OSHA were headed back to their Providence office on Jan. 22, 2015, after completing a site inspection when they saw a dangerous situation in clear view at another site in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Two men working for Ivan Paredes, a Brockton, Massachusetts, roofing contractor, were on a ladder-jack scaffold without guardrails, and with no protective gear to keep them from falling 16 feet to the ground. The two federal inspectors immediately pulled over, ordered the employees off the scaffold and began an inspection.

"This was a clear-and-present danger. These employees could have fallen at any time and been killed or disabled. Ivan Paredes knew of this hazard, but chose to ignore it and his legal responsibility to protect his employees," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's area director for Rhode Island.

Paredes' failure to provide and ensure the use of fall protection led OSHA to cite the contractor for a willful violation of worker safety standards. He now faces a $70,000 fine, the maximum allowed under the law.

Paredes was also cited for a serious violation, with a fine of $2,800, for an additional hazard for not having his employees use an access ladder to reach the scaffold's work platform safely. The proposed fines total $72,800.

OSHA has cited Paredes, who also operates as Lincoln Construction, for fall-related hazards seven times since October 2010, at work sites in East Greenwich, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, and Providence.

Paredes has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.