The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Shawn D. Purvis — a roofing contractor who also faces criminal charges in the year-ago death of a worker — for safety violations from a separate complaint, bringing his total OSHA fines to more than $2 million.
Purvis — owner of Saco, Maine-based Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc. — faces $278,456 in new penalties for willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations at a jobsite in Springvale, Maine. In June 2019, he was cited for 17 violations, carrying penalties of $1,792,726, following the December 2018 fatal fall of a worker from a roof in Portland, Maine — for which Purvis also faces manslaughter charges. The worker, Alan D. Loignon II, was not wearing a safety harness when he fell from a third-story roof. Loignon was an independent contractor.
Thomas Hallett, Purvis’ attorney, asserted in an email to the Portland Press Herald that “because Purvis Home Improvement cannot exercise control over how independent contractors do their jobs, it cannot mandate safety protocols,” noting that Purvis does make available safety equipment at all times.
The new fines. Responding to a complaint, OSHA initiated an inspection on May 23 and found three employees working on a two-story residential roof without fall protection. OSHA also cited Purvis for allowing employees to work on scaffolds near energized power lines, and for using ladders with side rails that did not extend at least three feet above upper work surfaces.
“OSHA regulations require that employees working at heights wear fall protection,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “This employer’s ongoing defiance of the law continues to place his workers at risk for disabling and fatal injuries.”
Purvis has 15 business days from receipt of the latest citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.