Judge orders Bay City landscaper to stop operations - WNEM TV 5

Judge orders Bay City landscaper to stop operations

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A Bay County Court Judge has ordered a Bay City landscaper to stop operations.

The move comes after the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) executed a Cease Operations Order against Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping, LLC.

MIOSHA issued the order in early May after it claimed Sunset hadn’t fixed hazards the company was cited for in June of 2016. It also issued 12 new citations.

Shortly after the Cease Operations Order, MIOSHA said it heard from concerned citizens indicating that the company was continuing to operate, despite the order.

On May 30, following efforts by MIOSHA to confirm the allegations, a complaint was filed with the Bay County Circuit Court for Sunset’s failure to obey the Cease Operations Order.

A judge has now issued a judgment, ordering Sunset to cease the following operations until it has complied with abatement requirements as prescribed by MIOSHA.

  • Cease operation of the Bandit Chipper;
  • Cease from engaging in work operations requiring implementation of traffic control devices; and
  • Cease from employing workers that have not received training in the hazards of tree trimming operations, personal protective equipment and available safeguards.

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. 

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

“Sunset’s disregard of MIOSHA regulations continues to jeopardize the safety of its most valuable asset – its employees,” said Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Shelly 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.”

Once Sunset has complied with abatement requirements as prescribed by MIOSHA, MIOSHA will notify Sunset and Director Edgerton that the company is able to resume full operations. 

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