November 24, 2017
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Comments for: Augusta construction company owner calls OSHA ‘bullies’, refuses to pay fines

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  • Anonymous

    Good for you! They are suggested fines because I really don’t know if they have the right to fine you in the first place. They enjoy putting the fear of OSHA into people. Thats how they fund themselves. They should be arrested for terrorizing

    • See.. I don’t see that at all.  I see that a man was killed on a job site while working for a man with a history of OSHA violations and no intention of changing his ways.   To each their own.

      • Anonymous

        a man being killed on the job is terribile. everyone knows that.

    • Anonymous

      $9000 for a man’s life? Obviously not enough of a deterrent for Linwood Stover.

      OSHA will eventually get their money and then some, take his home, car, or equipment.

      Pay up, Stover, two strikes so far.  Next, jail time?

    • Anonymous

      Good for him?  He is going to put himself right out of business…

  • Anonymous

    If you want to run a business, it is your responsibility to know the laws and to keep your workers safe. You are responsible for the safety of your workers, and if it wasn’t for OSHA, there’d be more accidents than there are now.

    • Anonymous

      I do not believe OSHA can make laws. and everything is a recomendation. I also believe the fines are voluntary, None of this which is told to the public.

      • That’s okay. The wrongful death civil judgement, which can use the OSHA investigation as evidence, is gonna put this guy outta business all on it’s own. And the publicity here’s ot gonna do him any good either.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah that’s really appropriate.  It was an accident, you can’t guarantee safety for everything in the world.  What happened was unfortunate, however ever time you are under anything, whether it be a tree as a logger, carpenter under a roof, mechanic under a car, there is assumed risk.  It is completely unfortunate that a mans life was lost.  However, a lawsuit does not bring him back.  It is your attitude and greed that is part of the problem with your country.  

          • Anonymous

            I do agree with you…it was an accident…..if this guy is careless it one thing but for OSHA to step in to get their mitts on some money because a man lost his life….well that’s wrong. Too much government involved in peoples lives….maybe this guy should work along…then if something happens…..it’s really an accident…and OSHA can’t fine him can they? I say he shouldn’t have to pay a fine now or in 2010….that’s just BS!

      • Anonymous

        I believe a wrongful death lawsuit verdict with the facts above would make Mr. Stover long for a mere $9,000 fine.

        • Joe

          The fine doesn’t void a wrongful death lawsuit.

      • Anonymous

        OSHA does not make laws, they enforce those laws enacted by congress.  They are like the State Police for the workplace.  They cannot ‘require’ changes be made, but if a cited violation is not fixed then it can become a willful violation on a later inspection and that is a much more expensive proposition.
        The fines are NOT optional and will eventually be forwarded on to a US dept collection system, probably similar to that involved with owing back taxes. 
        As for getting assistance prior to work, that is the job of the Maine Department of Labor, who has a consulting arm that will work with companies and inspect work sites for possible violations.  So don’t blame OSHA, that is not their job, they are strictly an enforcement part of the system.  
        I should mention that at one time I was an OSHA inspector, with backgrounds in both construction and chemistry.  The number of things we would see that were hazardous, that we knew were hazardous and could cause serious injuury/illness or death and that the workers or company didn’t even see was high.  
        Every week we would get the weekly reports from around the country that listed fatalities and catastrophes that were unusual.  Like the time an entire family of farmers died trying to get the previous one out of a molasses storage container.  Rather than calling for help or using any kind of restraint system, the first just went in to clean, found a lethal mixture of gas or lack of oxygen and died, then the next, and the next, until there were none left.  You might not hear about all these cases, but the inspectors do, and they go out and investigate here in Maine when bad things happen, I know I used to have to do that.
        I’m sure there are times that tact are not the top of the list for the inspectors, but then they are there to evaluate risk and try and prevent death or injury.  And by the way, while I was at OSHA there was no reward or reprimand based on the number of violations.  No quota for earning a certain level of penalty.  The charge was simple, try and make the workplace safe.

  • B Q

    At 55 years old, it’s time to take a little responsibility for your actions. This isn’t the kind of publicity you want to generate for your business when you’re still a ways off from retirement age…

    • Anonymous

       The way this guy could care less makes me think he doesn’t have much to lose anyway. A person can do lots of things to avoid paying anything, even a wrongful death suit…close the business, file bankruptcy, maybe already keeps assets in someone elses name…on and on. Then just open up under a new name or do work under the table, it really isn’t that hard these days.

  • Superuser23

    “and Mr. OSHA can’t sit there and tell me no laws have changed since 2002.”Did you call Mr OSHA and say “Hey Mr Osha, I got a book that was dated for 2002, is this accurate?” I bet you didn’t.

    “They’re concerned about their wallet.” Mind telling us if you are not in the business concerned about your wallet too?

    For someone who has past violations that has not been paid, the state or someone with proper authority should strip his license and anything else for him conducting business. Safety first, double check the work and check your equipment frequently. Heck I have worked for companies we were checking ladders and their functionality about every day it seemed. Is it noted anywhere how old the equipment he uses is?

    • Anonymous

      the state can’t take his license! there is none! this guy needs to have osha just plain shut him down. lock him up if need be,, this state needs general contractor license’s! 

      • Anonymous

        I agree with you on the general contractor license issue. I see that the article said Stover and 2 “Independent Contractors” were jacking up the camp. A lot of so called contractors play the Idependent or sub-contractor game to get out of shouldering any responsibility for the people they employ.

  • Wait, so he was hit with enormous fines in 2010, which he refused to pay, and then one of his workers died on the job in 2012?  This guy doesn’t need more fines, he needs to be put in jail.  OSHA isn’t out to screw people, it exists to save people.  Unfortunately they were too late in this case…

    • Anonymous

      OSHA is unteathered and  fine people who except the fines.  Answer me this why does it state on their judgements that it is a suggested fine? I believe it is self regulated and does not treat everyone equally.

  • Actually, the fine in this case was quite small, compared to those assessed against most companies. However, this man has the right to contest the OSHA citations and fines through a formal appeals process, and it sounds like he may have a legitimate chance to have the citations (and penalties) vacated, based on two things contained in this story: OSHA cited inapplicable standards; and; the deceased was not his employee. The regulations for OSHA training (available at http://www.oshatraining.com) and inspections are numerous, but may not apply in this case, the man needs to get an attorney involved ASAP so he does not lose his right to appeal.

  • He needs to be held to the law, whether he agrees with it or not. He obviously does not believe in safety. A man died due to his shortcuts. he should serve time, in my opinion.

    • Anonymous

      And what were his shortcuts?

  • Anonymous

    It has been said that the possibilities of seeing an OSHA inspector on a small company’s job site is similar to the odds of the owner of that company winning the lottery.  For the most part OSHA inspectors spend most of their time investigating complaints about work place safety or responding to accidents like the one Mr. Stover’s company was involved with. I have seen and read the OSHA handbook and while it is not one of my favorite recreational reading books it most certainly can be understood by anyone with normal comprehension skills. The fact that Mr. Stover had been fined for previous workplace safety violations could be looked upon as possibly an over aggressive inspector. Mr. Stover claims that OSHA is wrong as far as safety violations on the most recent job. I find it very hard to believe that all safety requirements were met on the second job and that OSHA is wrong. The fact that the building collapsed and killed a worker make Mr. Stover’s position very difficult to accept. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree that a lawsuit for the death will cost his insurance company some money. The accident is terribile.. what I have an issue with is that OSHA thinks it can collect money from people if they say no I will not pay. If they have the power to take money from contractors, why don’t they have the power to take the non payer to court..  I think the reason is because it is a voluntary payment. you never see OHSA in the courts trying to collect money

    • Anonymous

      You’ll probably find that this man doesn’t have any business insurance.  He is operating with no contractor’s license, apparently can’t read and comprehend an OSHA manual that is written on a 9th grade reading level, and has absolutely no regard for his subcontractors (who should also be licensed and insured).  Sounds to me like he’s a guy with a pick up that does odd jobs for cash…might want to check out his tax returns while your at it!

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know if the police looked into this as a possible case of criminal negligence? There’s got to be a point where, as someone who runs a worksite, if you’ve been cited for multiple safety violations in the past, you need to be held accountable if what you do leads to the serious injury or death of another human being. I feel bad if he was friends with the man who died, but that doesn’t make him any less responsible. He can rant on and on about how unfair OSHA is, but they clearly pointed out legitimate concerns, or a man wouldn’t be dead today.

    • Anonymous

      Would you agree that the man should have taken his own safety precautions?  Would you climb under a car that was in gear and running just because your boss told you too?  If you said no and got terminated, you would have a wrongfully terminated suit, and be alive.  You can’t blame other people for your (his) wrong actions.  He crawled under the building, he jacked up a floor, he looked past potential safety hazards.

  • u

  • Anonymous

    My dad had a run in with OSHA back in the day when he was a contractor.. He had a power cord that the insulation was showing a bit at the plug. True it is not a safe cord so he was told to change it and he did. He took out a brand new cord from the gang box that had black tape stretched around it to keep it neat and tidy while riding the box.. The OSHA guy saw the tape and went ballistic, he said i gave you a chance on the other cord and you give me a taped up one, and half assed taped at that are you stupid? My dad went over to the cord lifted the tape off the cord it didn’t even unwind it was just laying on the cord, and he looked at the OSHA guy and said I’m not stupid but are you? He got a 300.00 dollar fine for the first cord.. That’s the only time he ever got bothered from the OSHA guys.. But I heard so many horror tales about guys getting fined for not wearing safety goggles when they were screwing drywall to a wall. or no safety glasses again when they were using a skill saw stuff like that.. Some of it sounds stupid but it is meant to save your life..

    • Anonymous

      My fathers business got fined for having used motor oil in a container and admitting to giving it away to his neighbors business to use in a waste oil furnace to heat his shop.  I guess he had to have a plan to get rid of the waste oil at the local dump. 

  • Joe

    If those guys were “Subs”, really there’s nothing OSHA can do.   They can’t fine a self employed person.  (I’ve looked by the way, it’s under FAQ questions section of there website.)  Now if they were his employees, then they could fine him.   This is a gray area.

    • Anonymous

      He called them independent contractors not subs. Many employers try to do this to avoid workers comp and withholdings-all illegal.

  • Every week we read on these pages that our neighbors kill or maim themselves by falling off cliffs, leaping into quarries, flipping motorcycles or ATVs while not wearing helmets, going through the ice on snowmobiles (in season), or being able to swim across a lake — almost. They blow holes in each other with guns that were not loaded. They beat on each other when it is discovered that money allocated for drugs was spent on beer.

    But every once in a great while we read of an escaped prisoner who sues the state police because they did not catch him soon enough and as a result while hiding in the pucker brush he froze his feet. — Or someone crawls like a skunk into a trap and can’t get out. 

    Should we applaud these refreshing headline-grabbing manifestations of creative self-destruction? 

    Should our friends with serious lapses in good judgement be fined or rewarded for providing newspaper copy?

  • Anonymous

    $9K is nothing for a death.And he says the guy was working for him for one day.Are there payroll/tax records?Or was it all cash?I’ve worked in construction for some sleazebags and some people who cared about their safety and reputation.Guess which companies were busier?
    I worked for a roofing company that cut corners.After I left they had a death and sleazed out of it since the guy had traces of alcohol in his system-certainly not a rarity among that field and a mistake but the company still skipped.
    Look up the tiny negotiated fines that OSHA has worked out with the big coal companies after fatalities.SHAMEFUL.Exhibit A-Don Blankenship.
    His claim that he couldn’t read the book is a lie.Most federal material is written at a fifth grade level.Does that mean he couldn’t read safety instructions?He needs to be jailed and made an example of.

  • Anonymous

    Why wasn’t it reported whether or not the three who were killed at Target industrial park had their seat belts on?   Because it wasn’t relevant or because there was no one to fine?  A lot of people try to do things on their own which sometimes have tragic consequences.  From the photo I can see NO materials in the picture which indicates that this building was being lifted off it’s foundation.  Such materials are usually large and obvious.  NO ONE attempts to raise a building without the blocks required to hold it in place, therefore I tend to believe the man when he says that OSHA is in error.  Jacks are inherently unsafe by their nature and blocks are as well when used improperly,  but are also a safety item. OSHA likes to come in and act as an authority invoking large fines and making headlines when the truth usually lies somewhere in between.  This is an unusual accident but this type of accident has happened in the past.

    • Anonymous

      An intelligent comment!  Finally, a breath of fresh air!

  • Anonymous

    Well, folks, Linwood Stover of Kennebec Home Improvements has proven that he is a liability waiting to happen. Hire him at your own risk-and make sure your own liability insurance is paid up if he walks onto your property. The sad thing is that he’s typical of WAY TOO MANY so-called contractors here in Maine.

  • Anonymous

    Stover sounds like a good guy NOT to work for !!

  • Anonymous

    I am not sticking up for this man at all but I do agree that OSHA and MSHA (Mining Safety) is becoming more and more interested in fines than it is in helping workers or employers make their workplace safer.  There was once a time that OSHA and MSHA would work with employers when they noticed minor infractions and would allow a certain amount of time to make the necessary changes, but today they fine first then insist changes be made. 

    A place where I work got it’s first  MSHA fine a couple of years ago. The inspector came into my office and the first question that I was asked was, “Where is your eye wash station?” I asked what she meant by “eye wash station” and she said we must have one in case something gets in my eyes. This is an office for goodness sake and no MSHA inspectors ever asked to look at an “eye wash station” in the past (felt like the inspector was grasping at straws to make some sort of a quota). We immediately went to get a bottle of eye wash solution but it was too late, we were already fined. Not so many years ago the inspectors would ask us to get a bottle of eye wash solution (or whatever the case might be, just using eye wash as an example), would return and check to see if we did as asked and wouldn’t issue a citation and would thank us. Today they issue the citation first then insist we remedy whatever minor problem we were fined for and in my opinion and the opinion of our workers, we feel like it is all about money and not about helping keep a safe working environment. If this were something serious then I believe we should be fined but they are becoming more and more petty. 

    Good thing I didn’t get some paper dust or an eye lash in my eye with no “eye wash station” to clean it out with after all of these years of passing MSHA inspections with flying colors without ever having an “eye wash station”.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah because this guy only went into construction when LePage became governor and got rid of all the regulations.

  • I too had a run in with OSHA,recently.They are legalized extorntionist!

  • Anonymous

    As an unrelated side-note, DAMN! That camp must get a lot of mail! ;-)

  • Sounds like he along with other home improvement companies should be put out of business .

  • Jazz11

    He had a responsability not to have his employees killed. He violated that trust. Don’t pay, I am sure Federal Judges will see it your way. Ha.

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