The U.S. Department of Labor is going after a Maine general contractor who it says repeatedly flouted occupational safety rules designed to protect construction workers from dangerous falls.

Stephen Lessard, owner of Greene-based Lessard Bros. Construction Inc., put his employees in danger of serious falls by failing to furnish protective equipment such as harnesses and railings on high scaffolds, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Lessard also failed to provide required training in fall prevention, it said.

The department has filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston asking it to hold Lessard in civil contempt for refusing to implement safety measures and pay more than $400,000 in fines for violations cited through 2010.

If held in contempt, he could face jail time, the department said. Lessard didn’t return multiple calls seeking comment.

The motion for contempt stems from a December 2010 Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection that resulted in citations for alleged “egregious, willful, serious and repeat violations” for a lack of fall protection and other hazards.

OSHA previously had cited Lessard Bros. and its predecessor, Lessard Roofing & Siding Inc., 10 times for fall protection violations at various Maine work sites, the Labor Department said.

During the 2010 inspection, OSHA inspectors said they found four Lessard employees exposed to potentially life-threatening falls of 23 feet while working without any fall protection on a steep-pitched roof at a work site on Elm Street in Lewiston.

Because of Lessard’s knowledge of the hazard and the required safeguards, along with the company’s extensive history of violations, he was cited for four egregious, willful violations with $224,000 in proposed fines. A willful violation is one committed while knowing or voluntarily disregarding the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health, according to the Labor Department.

The fines have grown to $400,400 because of late penalties, said department spokesman Ted Fitzgerald.

Lessard has racked up $287,000 in additional fines since 2010 for similar violations, but would not be required to pay those immediately to avoid contempt charges, Fitzgerald said.

Lessard never has responded to any of the department’s demands to bring his construction sites into OSHA compliance, Fitzgerald said. He has neither paid any of his fines nor submitted required proof that the safety hazards were eliminated.

“He has never addressed those,” Fitzgerald said. “He has never even responded.”

Among the violations cited in 2014 were failure to properly reinforce scaffolds, lack of guardrails and worker safety harnesses, and failure to train workers in how to recognize falling hazards, OSHA documents show.

No serious injuries or deaths have been reported on any of Lessard’s job sites, Fitzgerald said, but the point of following safety rules is to ensure they never happen.

“Even if no one is hurt, the hazard is there,” he said.