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Roofer Fined $137K for Repeat Dangers

Thursday, September 3, 2015

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One of the largest residential and commercial roofing companies in Florida faces $136,500 in fines for allegedly exposing workers to falls from heights up to 20 feet without fall protection.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Latite Roofing and Sheet Metal LLC, of Pompano Beach, for three repeat and three serious safety violations stemming from three inspections, according to a release issued Aug. 25.

The family-owned company did not immediately respond Wednesday (Sept. 2) to a request for comment on the case.

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Latite Roofing and Sheet Metal LLC, of Pompano Beach, FL, has been cited nine times over the past five years, resulting in thousands of dollars in OSHA fines.

Founded in 1943, the company has experience in all types of roofing applications ranging from single family to large commercial buildings, according to its website. The company serves south Florida customers.

Fall Dangers

OSHA said the company “continues to expose workers to dangerous falls,” noting that Latite Roofing has been cited nine times over the past five years.

The latest case stems from separate inspections conducted at three jobsites.

The inspections were initiated as part of the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction.

OSHA inspectors allegedly observed Latite Roofing employees performing roofing work without fall protection.

According to OSHA, the company permitted its employees to work from heights of 10, 15 and up to 20 feet without fall protection equipment.

Moreover, the employer allowed the workers to improperly use a step ladder to gain access to one of the roofs, OSHA alleged.

Action Needed

“Residential roofing work can be deadly when safety measures are not enforced,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA's area director in Ft. Lauderdale. “Latite Roofing has an extensive OSHA inspection history, but continues to expose employees to life-threatening safety hazards.

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"Residential roofing work can be deadly when safety measures are not enforced,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA's area director in Ft. Lauderdale.

“Latite must assess its work practices immediately to ensure workers are protected.”

The company has 15 days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA Record

OSHA records show multiple citations for the roofing company, including a case from May 2014, initiated after a 55-year-old worker was struck by lightning on the job.

Inspectors said Latite Roofing exposed workers to the hazard of being struck by lightning while pumping concrete on a roof of a building during a rainstorm.

That case, and the $14,000 in proposed penalties, is currently under contest, according to OSHA’s database.


Tagged categories: Enforcement; Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; Regulations; Roofing contractors

Comment from Guus van Wijk, (9/4/2015, 2:21 AM)

Will they ever learn ? The problem with the fine is : who is going to pay ? Will it come from the profit the company has made or will it be included in the bills of future customers. The latter is the most likely one and makes the pain of the fine for the company reduced to a little admin job. It might be more effective to jail the responsible persons without access to continue business from jail.

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