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Nebraska Contractor Faces Daily Fines for Non-Compliance with Labor Subpoena, Court Rules

Federal Court Holds Nebraska Contractor in Contempt, Orders Daily Fine Until Compliance with US Department of Labor Subpoena

A federal court in Nebraska has issued an order holding a roofing contractor in contempt of court and imposing a daily fine until compliance with a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Christopher Arps, operating as Capital City Roofing and Construction, has been stalling federal investigators for almost a year regarding an investigation into an employee’s fall off a residential roof in Lincoln in February 2023.

Failure to Comply Results in Daily Fine

U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. of the District of Nebraska found Christopher C. Arps in contempt of court on January 16, 2024, and ordered him to comply with OSHA’s subpoena or face a daily fine of $100. The court also directed Arps to pay $5,926.56 to cover the department’s legal fees and costs. Failure to comply by January 26, 2024, may result in additional sanctions, including conditional incarceration.

OSHA Investigation Reveals Lack of Fall Protection

OSHA began an inspection at the Lincoln worksite after learning about the incident and discovered that the employee of Arps was working without fall protection when he suffered cardiac arrest, fell from the roof, and sustained serious injuries. Despite the evidence, Arps denied the incident occurred and refused to provide inspectors with requested information.

Protecting Workers from Falls

Falls are the leading cause of death and injuries in the construction industry. In 2022, 423 out of 1,056 construction worker fatalities were related to falls from elevation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Proper fall protection measures are crucial to ensuring worker safety in the construction industry.

Practical Tips for Implementing Safety Measures

Implementing safety measures in the workplace can help prevent accidents and protect employees. Here are some practical tips:

1. Provide Fall Protection Equipment

Ensure that all workers who are exposed to fall hazards have access to and are trained on the proper use of fall protection equipment. This includes harnesses, lanyards, and anchor points. Regularly inspect and maintain the equipment to ensure its effectiveness.

2. Conduct Regular Safety Training

Train employees on the importance of fall prevention and the proper procedures for working at heights. Regularly reinforce safety protocols through training sessions and toolbox talks. Encourage open communication about safety concerns.

3. Conduct Site Inspections

Regularly inspect worksites to identify potential fall hazards and take immediate action to address them. This includes ensuring proper guardrails, toe-boards, and safety nets are in place. Keep work areas clean and free of clutter to minimize tripping hazards.

4. Promote a Safety Culture

Create a culture of safety by involving employees in safety committees, encouraging them to report hazards or near misses, and recognizing and rewarding safe behaviors. Regularly communicate and reinforce the importance of safety through posters, signs, and safety campaigns.

5. Stay Informed and Follow Regulations

Stay updated on relevant safety regulations, such as those enforced by OSHA, and ensure compliance. Regularly review and update safety policies and procedures to reflect any changes in regulations or industry best practices.

By implementing these safety measures, employers can prioritize the well-being of their workers and prevent accidents and injuries.

For more information about fall hazards and safety procedures, visit OSHA’s stop falls website. To learn more about OSHA and its role in ensuring workplace safety, visit their official website.


Federal court holds Nebraska contractor in contempt, orders daily fine until he complies with US Department of Labor subpoena

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