MIOSHA Issues 2nd Cease Operations Order in 2017 Against Bay City Landscaping Company
Follows Bay County Circuit Court Judgment against employer
Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
December 27, 2017 – Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Director Shelly Edgerton directed the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) to execute a second Cease Operations Order against Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping, LLC of Bay City for continuing to operate without abating hazards on the jobsite. This is the strongest enforcement action the agency can levy against an employer.
Pursuant to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act 154 of 1974, MIOSHA ordered the company to cease operations due to unresolved safety issues, including:
- Inadequate guard/distance to feed rolls on the PowerTek Chipper;
- Eye protection not utilized by employees when loading brush and fallen trees/limbs into the PowerTek chipper;
- Head protection not utilized by employees while engaged in tree trimming operations;
- High visibility clothing/vests not utilized by employees while performing tree trimming operations in and adjacent to the roadway;
- PowerTek Chipper improperly fed by employees; and
- PowerTek Chipper flap type guards not utilized in an operable manner.
This order follows a Bay County Circuit Court judge issuing a judgment in September 2017 against Sunset in a lawsuit filed by LARA, seeking enforcement of a Cease Operations Order that MIOSHA executed in May 2017. From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017, MIOSHA issued six failure-to-abate citations for several violations and six willful serious citations – the most serious classification. The 2017 citations were issued with $222,000 in proposed penalties. Sunset has a long history of safety violations, from to 2011-2016 MIOSHA issued 48 citations with total initial penalties of $150,000.
Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping employs six workers and is an ornamental shrub and tree service. The business requires the extensive use of personal protective equipment, hand tools and various powered equipment used in the removal and processing of trees.
Once Sunset has complied with abatement requirements as prescribed by MIOSHA, MIOSHA will notify Sunset that the company is able to resume full operations.
For more information about MIOSHA, please visit www.michigan.gov/miosha.
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For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara.
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