Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc., a firm with nearly 20 years of safety violations, has been fined more than $92,000 after a recent inspection.
The construction company has an extensive history of safety problems in Kitsap, Pierce and Grays Harbor counties. The serious safety violations found during this recent inspection included 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.
History of Violations
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.
In addition to the violations mentioned above, 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
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.
Safety Training and Consultations
Fall protection training and other L&I safety guides can be found on the L&I website, here. Businesses can also request a safety consultation from DOSH.
L&I’s Consultation Program offers confidential, no-fee, professional advice and assistance to Washington businesses. These services can help them find and fix hazards in the workplace and strengthen their safety program.
Safety and Health Consultation
Safety or Industrial Hygiene consultants provide assistance with building your safety program, training, identifying and controlling hazards, and following applicable safety rules. No fines or penalties will result from issues uncovered during a consultation. However, consultants will ask you to correct any serious issues and offer assistance.
Risk Management Consultation
Risk management consultants can review your workplace injury history and provide a step-by-step plan to help you prevent injuries and control industrial insurance costs.
Ergonomic specialists can help you find solutions to prevent sprain and strain injuries. These injuries are associated with high worker’s compensation costs.