Bay City landscaping company ordered to cease operations - WNEM TV 5

Bay City landscaping company ordered to cease operations

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A Bay City landscaping company has been ordered to cease operations. 

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) executed a Cease Operations Order against Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping, LLC of Bay City for continuing to operate without abating hazards on the jobsite.

MIOSHA also issued 12 citations totaling $222,000 in proposed penalties. The company has been ordered to cease operations due to unresolved safety issues including: 

  • Inadequate guard/distance to feed rolls on the Bandit Chipper,
  • Unguarded shaft with hex flange projections on the Bandit Chipper,
  • Operator safety control bar tied back with rope and wire, rendering the device ineffective on the Bandit Chipper,
  • Traffic control devices not utilized when employees were working in and adjacent to the road,
  • No cover on access panel for the Bandit Chipper, and
  • No training on tree trimming operations and safeguards.

MIOSHA said the order is a result of two inspections conducted with Sunset from Jan. 11 to March 15 of this year. The department issued six failure-to-abate citations for the violations and six willful serious citations - the most serious classification. 

“Sunset’s gross negligence of MIOSHA regulations continues to jeopardize the safety of its most valuable asset – its employees,” said Edgerton. “While MIOSHA strives to work collaboratively with the employer community, such a pattern of non-compliance requires that we take the necessary enforcement actions.” 

MIOSHA said Sunset has an extensive history of safety violations.

Between 2011 and 2016, 14 inspections were conducted at the company, resulting in 48 citations with total initial penalties of $150,000.

It has also been cited nine times for failure-to-abate, according to the department.

MIOSHA executed a Cease Operations Order against the company in May 2016, which was later lifted after it abated the violations.

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.

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