AUGUSTA — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined an Augusta construction company after a worker was killed at a job site earlier this year.

Kennebec Home Improvements was cited Thursday for three serious violations and fined $9,240, according to public records. A lawyer for the company said they may appeal the decision.

Bill Coffin, a supervisor for OSHA’s Augusta office, said the company has until Aug. 31 to file an appeal, which would be handled in federal court.

On May 15, Bobbie Rodriques, 54, of Augusta, was killed when the building he was working under collapsed on him.

The accident happened at a camp on Marden Shore Road at Lovejoy Pond. Two men from Kennebec Home Improvements had jacked up the camp and crawled underneath to repair a post foundation. As they worked, something went wrong and the building fell onto them. Rodriques was pronounced dead at the scene. The company’s owner, Linwood Stover, 55, also of Augusta, suffered back injuries. The third employee, who wasn’t under the camp, called for help.

Kennebec Home Improvements was cited for three serious violations, each assessed at $3,080. Coffin said he couldn’t discuss details of the investigation but could provide descriptions of each violation because they’re public records.

Three measures weren’t in place at the time of the accident, Coffin said.

First, OSHA requires builders to provide a solid foundation for jacks, and to place wood blocks above and below jacks. Next, once a building has been raised on a jack, the building must be secured with cribbing or blocking. Last, construction companies are required to train employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions, and also are required to conduct regular inspections, Coffin said.

“A competent person has to inspect the job site — the materials they’re using, the equipment they’re using — to make sure everything is in compliance, is in good working order and is maintained correctly. They did not have that program in place,” he said.

Stover referred questions to his lawyer, Pat Perrino, of Augusta.

Perrino and Stover received the citations from OSHA on Thursday. Stover hasn’t had an opportunity to read them yet and will decide early next week whether to contest them, Perrino said.

“My gut reaction is we’ll probably appeal,” he said. “OSHA has a habit of picking on the little people all the time and making all these findings, but they’re afraid to go after anyone else.”

Coffin said he doesn’t know whether any criminal charges would arise from the accident, because those decisions are beyond OSHA’s scope. Coffin said it was unlikely the state would press charges because of the class of violations. OSHA has four classes of violations: other-than-serious, serious, repeated and willful. All three were serious.

“If we issue a willful citation, then the state may take a look at it,” Coffin said. “If we don’t issue ‘willful,’ my experience is the state does not get involved.”

Coffin said the $9,240 penalty is appropriate according to the OSHA field operations manual. Each of the three violations carries a maximum fines of $7,000, which would have totaled $21,000 in this case. The amount was reduced by 60 percent because of the company’s small size. A 10 percent increase was added because the company had prior OSHA violations.

Coffin acknowledged that $9,240 might appear small, considering that someone died in the accident; but OSHA guidelines focus solely on violations, not the outcomes of violations.

“If nobody had died at the site, and we just happened to inspect, the penalties would have been the same. In other words, we don’t issue citations because of a fatality. We look at the situation and any violations, and we follow our field operations manual.”

According to online OSHA archives, Kennebec Home Improvements was cited for 10 serious violations during a job site inspection in July 2010. Those violations included a lack of a safety guard on a table saw, lack of ground fault circuit interrupters, a lack of fall protection and more. The company was fined $6,750.

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