A Maine roofing contractor indicted in the 2018 death of a worker is facing more than $278,000 in new fines for failing to follow workplace safety regulations at a Springvale job site in May, bringing the total proposed fines he faces to more than $2 million.

Shawn Purvis stands in court May 20 during his arraignment on charges in the death of a worker who fell from the roof of a house on Munjoy Hill in December 2018. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Inspectors with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to a complaint May 23 and found that employees of Shawn D. Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co., were working on a second-story roof without fall protection, had erected scaffolding that was too close to energized power lines, and were using ladders that did not extend far enough above the roof line.

“OSHA regulations require that employees working at heights wear fall protection,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt in a statement. “This employer’s ongoing defiance of the law continues to place his workers at risk for disabling and fatal injuries.”

Attorneys for Purvis filed a notice Tuesday that they would contest the new fines, said OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald. Portland attorney Thomas Hallett did not respond to a request for comment.

The inspection in Springvale came three days after Purvis appeared in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court to plead not guilty to charges of manslaughter and workplace manslaughter concerning the death of Alan Loignon, who fell to his death from the third-story roof of a home on Munjoy Hill in Portland in December 2018 as he tried to climb down to a scaffolding platform.

In previous interviews, Purvis has blamed Loignon for his own death. Loignon was Purvis’s half-brother and worked for Purvis for years.

In response to the May violations, OSHA suggested $278,456 in new fines, bringing the total amount levied by the agency against Purvis to more than $2 million.

Purvis was cited in June for 17 violations that carried proposed penalties of $1,792,726 in connection with the fatal fall in 2018. Attorneys for Purvis are contesting those violations, as well.

In past interviews, Purvis told a reporter that OSHA was applying its rules improperly, and argued that his workers were independent contractors, not employees, and he therefore could not exercise control over them or force them to follow safety guidelines.

Loignon’s family has filed a $2.5 million wrongful death lawsuit against Purvis, alleging that Purvis discouraged the use of safety equipment.

Purvis’ company also faces a federal collection action for $55,000 in unpaid fines and fees stemming from prior OSHA violations.

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