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Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA

 
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:45 PM   #1
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Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


I friend of mine I've known for 40 years is the exclusive framing contractor on an Indian reservation. Every Indian gets aprox. 8 Grand a month from casino money. So needless to say they are building like crazy out there. He's been there for about 12 years framing non-stop.

This particular framer and I got our first job in Construction together back in the 80's. I actually got him his first job working with the company I was working at. So he's a very good friend. We've fought each other more than once, fvcker taught me what it was like to have broken ribs. needless to say we've been very drunk as well, for years, to say the least.

Today all the subs got a text from the Indians that said "please be advised, OSHA is here inspecting". By law the feds have to notify the tribal leaders of these inspections first, from what I understand.

He said, he thinks he had everyone rolled up and out of there before they hit their jobsite, but he's not sure. He is an old school framer thier guards were up on some saws and no one had fall protection. It's a single story home. They build one home at a time with a small crew.

He said he saw the guy snapping pictures on top a hill near the site. Under normal situations this would be handled by CAL OSHA but because it's a reservation itís federal.

So far the electrician got cited for no temp stair rails. I guess even though it's the GC's responsibility the electrician isn't suppose to let his guys work there without them. In other words it's the sparkys job to not let his guys work in unsafe conditions, they're not the GC's employees. The ultimate responsibility falls on the employer.

So If he was going to get cited, wouldn't they of done it right there? I'm thinking he did the right thing, given the situation, rolling his guys up and sending them home. Has anyone ever recieved a fine/violation in the mail? My feeling is even if they took pictures how do they know it's not the owner of the company, who isn't bound by any OSHA regs? They don't even know for sure who's employee is in the picture they took.

Anyone with experience please chime in. What I will say, in all the years I've been in the business and he's been in the business for a total of 60 years we've never had an OSHA visit.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:09 AM   #2
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


I've only been on one site when Cal OSHA visited. It was a well-run, safe site, but the inspector found a few violations, mostly about scaffolding and guards. He wrote up some paperwork and handed it to the super, and said that the company would get a copy in the mail. He promised to visit again the next day and said there'd be no fines if everything was fixed by the next day.

He wouldn't say if the visit was caused by a complaint, but said that most visits to small job sites (this was a 30-unit condo) are prompted by complaints.

I wasn't there the next day, and didn't hear any more about it.

My impression has always been that OSHA inspections on small construction sites need to happen with employees present, so I'm interested in hearing what some others have to say.

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Old 08-27-2014, 01:27 AM   #3
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
Every Indian gets aprox. 8 Grand a month
Is that accurate?
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:28 AM   #4
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


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Originally Posted by rselectric1 View Post
Is that accurate?
Yes it is, there is a huge problem with alcohol, because they make so much money and don't work.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:31 AM   #5
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


The Pala Casino was the last job I worked on in the union. All the money gets split up and given to the people. It's quite a site they are driving brand new caddys and very nice rides. But it is breaking down the community. Money isn't always a good thing.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:37 AM   #6
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Heres a great article, 8 Grand was wrong they get more then that. Free Health. Not to mention all the kids get a huge payout when they come of age.

http://www.laweekly.com/2013-06-20/n...-tribe-casino/
Looks like each one gets 150,000 bucks a year

Last edited by Calidecks; 08-27-2014 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:29 AM   #7
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


in the past you would get told this is what is wrong fix it i will see you later then get a letter in the mail
working on a 86 unit apt building redo now they are and have been here every month for the last 3 months the onyl thing that i have heard is that they wanted the old gass line in the building caped even if they were caped at the meter every thing is elec now
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:40 PM   #8
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Violations:

Extension ladder not 3' above step off area
Scaffolding, "job made" and unapproved
3 way splitter was laying on the ground
One guy seen higher then 6' without fall protection

He will get the fine in about 6 - 8 weeks and can appeal it. Almost always they cut the fine in half just for showing up to the appeal, according to sources.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


I've been visited by OSHA and HUD and from what I understand, they can only issue a notice/fine/shutdown at the time they witness a violation taking place. Otherwise anyone can argue that they weren't aware that they were doing anything wrong and that nobody pointed it out to them.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:04 PM   #10
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


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I've been visited by OSHA and HUD and from what I understand, they can only issue a notice/fine/shutdown at the time they witness a violation taking place. Otherwise anyone can argue that they weren't aware that they were doing anything wrong and that nobody pointed it out to them.
He notified him the next day, my buddy didn't lie to him, which I don't blame him. He took responsibility for everything and will become compliant. You can argue that you weren't aware of any safety violations, but wouldn't they then just say that's even worse that you didn't have somebody in charge of that? I mean the guy had pictures. Sure you can say no those aren't my cords or those aren't my guys, but at the end of the day I think copping to your chit might be better. lying to a federal official turns it criminal.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:10 PM   #11
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
You can argue that you weren't aware of any safety violations, but wouldn't they then just say that's even worse that you didn't have somebody in charge of that?
Well that's different that the inspector came back the next day to discuss it. That's pretty much the same thing as being made aware at the time of the violation even though technically the date of the photos and the date of the notice are not exactly the same. But what I meant was that they can't take some pictures and then send you a violation notice in the mail 6 months later.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:44 PM   #12
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


OSHA has a 'multi-employer site' rule that is yes, the sub may get sited for being over 6 foot without tie-off, but the GC allowed that to happen will get fined, too. Pretty sure this is in the general duty clause, I could look it up but I'm too lazy right now. At any rate, the GC will always get a much higher fine than the sub. That's the Federal law. The various States that run their own program-Cal OSHA there or UOSH her behind the Zion Curtain must be at least as stringent as the Feds.

That being said, Utah does not have the multi-employer law anymore. The guy I work for has a full-time lawyer, and they got sick of getting higher fines, so the lawyer did his research and discovered that Utah wrote their law incorrectly, and fought it all the way to the Utah Supreme Court and won. This was just about 6 months ago. And with the political landscape the way it is here, the Utaliban won't touch adding more Federal regulations to anything. Hell, there suing the Feds to get more of them gone. In the mean time, all our jobs have a big, red OSHA target on them
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:48 PM   #13
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Quote:
Originally Posted by pritch View Post
OSHA has a 'multi-employer site' rule that is yes, the sub may get sited for being over 6 foot without tie-off, but the GC allowed that to happen will get fined, too. Pretty sure this is in the general duty clause, I could look it up but I'm too lazy right now. At any rate, the GC will always get a much higher fine than the sub. That's the Federal law. The various States that run their own program-Cal OSHA there or UOSH her behind the Zion Curtain must be at least as stringent as the Feds.

That being said, Utah does not have the multi-employer law anymore. The guy I work for has a full-time lawyer, and they got sick of getting higher fines, so the lawyer did his research and discovered that Utah wrote their law incorrectly, and fought it all the way to the Utah Supreme Court and won. This was just about 6 months ago. And with the political landscape the way it is here, the Utaliban won't touch adding more Federal regulations to anything. Hell, there suing the Feds to get more of them gone. In the mean time, all our jobs have a big, red OSHA target on them
So Utah doen't have to be as stringent as federal?
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:52 PM   #14
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Cal Osha has no authority on Indian Reservations, which was the case here.

Last edited by Calidecks; 08-27-2014 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:53 PM   #15
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


We do a ton of roofing work (both tear off and new residential and tear off commercial) on the biggest casino reservation in the state. As far as dollars and sense the monthly payout is way down to $46K a month but for several years it was $84K a month per adult tribal member. One of my part time girls daughter is 4 years old and a tribal member $46K a month into an escrow account. Her other kid is from the same dad but has not been voted on yet.

Most of the roofs we do out there are new construction for 18-19 year old kids 65-115sq roofs.

3-4 years ago the tribe hired a safety division after a serious accident on a job site. The people act as OSHA but they are hired by the tribe.

Before the harness law they wanted hard hats, vests, etc. Now with the OSHA harness BS they really like to see us wearing harnesses but more often than not we don't wear them and he doesn't give me that hard of a time. Keep in mind on the 100sq 12/12's 2-3 stories up we will wear them! On 1 story 4/12 we will not wear them...

The main safety guy calls what they are doing is free on site OSHA training. He did say the other day if a serious accident occurred on the reservation on a job site federal OSHA would be called in and not MN OSHA.

The framer has a guy always on the lookout and when they see the safety guy pull up they yell SHINGLES..

We did a 200sq 4 story tear off on the community center a couple years ago and the real OSHA came out to take pictures of our shingle debris chute system. I asked the safety guy if we were in trouble and he said no but the OSHA guy had never seen anything like it so they wanted to add it there file of approved methods.

BTW,
It's not uncommon to see a 1-2 year old Bentley parked outside all Winter or a $100K vehicle with smashed out windows.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #16
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
So Utah doen't have to be as stringent as federal?
Yes, in all aspects, except that the GC is not responsible for sub's safety. I'm sure it will get changed back at some point, even if the Feds come in and take over.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:05 AM   #17
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


I've been visited by OSHA three times and passed their inspections with no problem.....twice.

In 1998-99, we were building Morrisette Winery way up in the 'sticks' in Floyd VA. A big tall man, with dirty clothes, dew rag, hard hat, and a very bad attitude, walked around the job all morning. At about 11;30 he and the superintendent walked by and shut the job down

Yep, he was the man! Long story short, I was fined for not being certified in first- aid and CPR.

$3,600 up front, but I went through their long paper process and in a couple of months and got my fine down to $360.

All the other subs were cited as well for different things, but the GC wasn't held liable in this case.

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Old 08-31-2014, 08:15 AM   #18
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


The other two inspections I had from OSHA was conducted by very professional gentleman who were upfront with us as soon as they got on the site.

I've also had jobsite inspections by my insurance company before! That isn't fun either.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:22 PM   #19
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


I was visited by work safe bc last week.

Only concern was guard rails across the window.

So I immediately put them up.

The work safe rep said they had to be "looking good rails, not leaning on rails.



Buddy gets a visit from Federal OSHA-image-749397956.jpg

Still a joke though.

I'll never I stand how the insurance company can also be the regulatory body. Smells like conflict of interest.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:57 PM   #20
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Re: Buddy Gets A Visit From Federal OSHA


I do not know if I could locate the actual report, but we learned something new here in the land of Oklahoma and no contractor licensing.

If a contractor, or company fights back, there is a defense that will work....we have no license, no formal training, and while "ignorance" of the law is no excuse, you cannot be fined or cited if you are not aware of specific issues.

Now, you can say federal laws on workplace safety trump state law.....but do they? Are they actual laws or are they guidelines to be enforced by the dept. of labor?

When we were talking about this at the last OHBA board, one guys said this is precisely why OSHA only really targets large contractors. Small guys can fight and win.

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