With the chaos of 2020, some of you may have let your safety guard down thinking, “Who’s going to catch us? I bet those EPA inspectors are staying home.”
Hopefully you remained diligent when working with our favorite neurotoxin because it turns out EPA continued to punish those who did not.
Home Depot took a hit, and there were plenty of little guys who suffered, too.
The mighty HD continues to out perform its competitors — especially when it comes to fines. Over the past few years, Lowes has paid $400,000 and Sears, $500,000, but the mighty orange is the clear winner breaking $20 million.
Advice we share in our lead classes is: if you don’t see your crew being diligent with the required safety regulations, walk away from the job.
For Home Depot, $20 million won’t hurt that much given their $110.2 billion in sales in 2019, but the EPA ruling is instructive for all of us:
Read on to see which smaller guys were caught.
One of my favorite movies is “The Dirty Dozen” which is what I might call these companies EPA cited in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont:
Excel Pro Painters, Inc., South Portland, Maine
Dave Johnson Building and Remodeling, Inc., Windham, Maine
Mitchell Professional Services, Greenland, N.H.
Terravecchia Building & Restoration, Inc. for work in Portsmouth, N.H.
Modern Coastal Builders, LLC, of Newburyport, Mass. for work in Exeter, N.H.
Stephen Seckendorf of Hampstead, N.H.
ACM Group, Inc., for work in Portsmouth, N.H.
David Bean, a residential property owner and manager for leasing properties in Keene and Hinsdale, N.H.
Hale Resources, LLC., Bennington, Vermont
E.P. Management, Corp., Beverly, Mass. for work in Rutland, Vermont
Howard Gross, a residential property owner and manager for failing to disclose known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards when leasing property in Somersworth, N.H.
LandMarx Construction LLC dba Oceanside Exteriors, Portland, Maine
To read the entire EPA release, click
Lead is relentless and targets the defenseless as well as remodelers like us. There is no cure or punishment that will stop the life-diminishing damage for those poisoned. But there is a defense.
Take a class, learn how to change your methods and become part of the solution. Those 12 local companies wish they did.
Despite the Covid curse, we have continued to offer Leadsmart classes with all the restrictions that each state and the CDC have imposed. I am thrilled to say we have filled more than 70 classes since March and thankfully have not had any reported cases of illness thanks to our customers who cooperated with our requirements.
There is never a valid reason to move forward with a job without safety protocols in place and that includes the disruptions caused by Covid. We can all adapt the way we do business just as we did when we first learned how to work safely with lead.
I wish you the best of health, happiness and prosperity in your business in the New Year.