Chilos Builders, an Everett company, was fined over $230,000 for safety violations. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (DLI) cited the company for eight safety violations, including exposing employees to fall hazards while working two and three stories above ground. The company has a history of safety violations.
“We’ve cited this company for numerous safety violations the past few years, and we’ve told them many times how to protect their workers from falling from elevations,” said Anne Soiza, DLI assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). “These safety rules are in place to protect workers, and this employer is blatantly ignoring them while other employers protect their workers from harm.”
As a result of these recent violations, DLI has designated the framing contractor a severe violator. That means inspectors will continue to inspect the company’s work sites until the unsafe conditions no longer exist.
It appears from Washington State data that the corporation has been dissolved and the business closed.
Apart from these current citations, DLI has inspected Chilos Builders under its current name and a previous name, Solorio’s Framing, five times since 2016. Each of those prior inspections resulted in DLI citing the company for safety issues including fall violations. Chilos Builders has appealed the citations from one of the inspections in 2018.
In a separate action, DLI suspended the company’s contractor registration in April for failing to have liability insurance. The registration remains suspended.
History of Workers Injured in Falls
Chilos Builders, owned by Ana Iglesias and managed by Cecilio Solorio, has reported 30 worker injuries under the two companies since 2016. The injuries include three caused by workers falling from heights of 8 to 15 feet.
Details of the Current Citations
DLI issued the recent citations for violations at job sites in the Georgetown and Ballard neighborhoods in Seattle. The fines were imposed after inspections at two Seattle construction job sites found numerous problems that placed workers at significant risk.
Georgetown: Refused to Follow Safety Rules
The most recent safety violations occurred in April when the company was helping build new apartments in Georgetown. Inspectors found inadequate safety rails on the roof, where six of the company’s framers were working just over 28 feet above ground.
In addition, there were four unguarded wall openings 9.5 feet above ground and no handrails on stairways leading to the second floor.
The Georgetown violations resulted in three citations totaling $126,000 in fines. The citations were designated “willful,” meaning the employer knew or should have known the rules, but refused to follow them.
The company corrected the safety hazards the day after inspectors first arrived.
Ballard: Fall Protection Lacking on Second and Third Floors
Two months earlier, in February, inspectors found five safety violations when the company was working in Ballard on another multi-unit residential project.
Two of the citations were considered willful, including one for failing to install fall protection on window and door openings on the three-story building. Inspectors saw at least two workers on the second floor and one worker on the third floor exposed to the potential fall hazards.
The company, which said it had 66 workers, was also cited for failing to train at least three employees on how to prevent fall hazards, failing to document weekly safety inspections and weekly safety meetings, and failing to ensure crew leaders and supervisors held valid first-aid certificates.
The Ballard site citations resulted in a total of $108,360 in fines.
Employers have 15 business days from the time they receive a citation 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.