Paramount Builders in Pago slapped with $1.08 million USD violations

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One of American Samoa’s construction companies, with a long history of violations of federal workplace safety and health laws, continued after inspections at two American Samoa work sites where the employer exposed workers to numerous dangerous hazards, has been slapped with penalties of over $1 million USD. 

Since 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Paramount Builders Ltd. with 22 serious violations, including willful and repeat failures, in 26 inspections.

The company’s history includes fall protection failures that led to an employee’s 24-foot fatal fall in May 2013 as they painted rafters. Paramount Builders is owned by Papalii Laulii Alofa, who recently made headlines in Samoa, as the owner of Kite Runner, a boat that entered borders without appropriate clearances.

In January 2023, OSHA found Paramount Builders once again endangering its employees. The agency cited the company for 21 violations — including nine serious, six willful and six repeat serious violations — and proposed $1,088,681 in penalties.

Specifically, OSHA determined Paramount Builders failed to:

  • Use a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest systems, as required.
  • Equip stairways with one stair rail system along each unprotected side or edge.
  • Ensure workers use appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapours, or potentially hazardous light radiation.
  • Install equipment safely as instructed by the manufacturer.

“Paramount Builders has historically shown its willingness to ignore federal laws that protect its employees from being exposed to serious injuries and potentially fatal hazards, and its intentional disregard must end,” explained OSHA Area Office Director Roger Forstner in Honolulu.

“OSHA will hold this company accountable for their continued indifference to employee safety and closely monitor their operations until they bring themselves into compliance.”