OSHA fines Oswego-based contractor over safety violations

An Oswego-based construction contractor has once again been fined for ignoring federal safety regulations.

An Oswego-based construction contractor has been fined for allegedly violating federal safety regulations.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed employees of Oswego-based United Custom Homes LLC allegedly working without protective equipment at heights of up to 20 feet on a house under construction in Naperville in August 2023.

Representatives of United Custom Homes could not be reached for comment. This is the eighth time OSHA has cited the company since 2015.

OSHA has assessed the company $264,143 in penalties for allegedly failing to provide fall protection equipment or train employees in fall hazards. The company also was fined for improper use of ladders and failure to recertify workers in the operation of powered industrial vehicles every three years as required.

United Custom Homes currently owes $238,572 in unpaid OSHA penalties.

“United Custom Homes continues to ignore federal safety regulations and endanger workers’ lives by exposing them to deadly fall hazards,” OSHA Chicago South Area Director Jim Martineck said in a news release. “Every employer has a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace, train workers and provide necessary equipment to keep them safe on the job. We will continue holding this employer accountable for their willing disregard of the law.”

In April 2023, the company was penalized $13,751 for allegedly not ensuring that each powered industrial truck operator was competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, according to OSHA records. United Custom Homes previously had been cited for violating that safety standard.

Also, United Custom Homes received a $8,595 penalty in June 2023 for allegedly not making sure that employees use appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

According to OSHA records, on or about April 12, 2023, an employee using a pneumatic nail gun did not have eye protection.

The company was cited Feb. 8 for its latest alleged violations. United Custom Homes has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to either comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.