The Department of Labor and Industries issued a report stating that a construction company with an extensive history of safety problems in Grays Harbor, Kitsap, and Pierce counties is being fined more than $92,000 for serious safety violations, including failing to enforce the use of fall protection while roofing a home under construction in Hoquiam.
The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) opened its latest inspection of Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc. (formerly Choice & Mike Construction) after receiving an anonymous report in May that included photographs showing four employees engaged in roofing work on a steep pitch roof with no fall protection installed.
Inspectors found that, in addition to employees working at height without proper fall protection, employees were not wearing masks or social distancing, which is a violation of COVID-19 workplace safety rules.
In addition to the violations mentioned prior, the May inspection resulted in another eight violations:
- no fall protection at four feet and greater while working on a steep pitch;
- no fall protection work plan;
- not complying with COVID-19 protections in construction;
- training programs not effective in practice;
- no hard hat worn while working under roofers;
- hands not kept free while ascending a ladder;
- ladder not extending three feet above the landing; and
- no walk-around safety inspection
Since 2001, Cloise & Mike Construction has been cited for more than two dozen serious and repeat safety violations after being inspected 26 times.
Seven of those inspections occurred in the last three years, resulting in more than $200,000 in fines.
“This isn’t a case of the company not knowing what the rules are,” said Anne Soiza, L&I assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).
“Cloise & Mike has ignored their fall hazards, putting their workers at serious risk, for nearly two decades. We hope these substantial fines will motivate them to recognize their obligations and prevent any future tragic outcome for their workers,” said Soiza.
The violations occurred on the construction of new homes in various cities including Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Lakewood and Hoquiam.
Penalties and appeal rights
Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc. is appealing this inspection and two others. Employers have 15 business days from the time they receive the citation from L&I to appeal.
Penalty money paid as a result of a citation is placed in the workers’ compensation supplemental pension fund, helping injured workers and families of those who have died on the job.