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OSHA Fines Roofer $124K for Fall Risks

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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The U.S. government has cited a Boston-area roofing contractor for numerous worker-safety violations, and issued the company proposed fines of nearly $125,000.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which falls under the U.S. Department of Labor, issued a total of 13 violations to Roof Kings LLC, stemming from a jobsite inspection that took place at a church on Feb. 17-19. Most of the violations stem from alleged inadequate fall protection for workers. Eye protection, protection from falling materials, shock protection and lead contaminant exposure all play a role as well.

Ladder to roof
© / Double_Vision

One violation alleges the company did not ensure that ladders extend at least three feet beyond the upper landing surface.

The violations included nine classified as “serious,” three as “willful” and one as “repeat.” The citations were issued August 1, the day before new maximum penalties for OSHA violations went into effect. The total proposed price tag on the violations comes to $124,960.

'Willful' Violations

The “willful” violations, which each carry a proposed penalty of $30,800, each involve a lack of fall protection of one type or another.

One “willful” violation alleges the company did not provide any type of fall protection system for employees working on a low-slope roof; one alleges it did not provide fall protection on a steep roof; and the last alleges the company did not ensure that ladders extend at least three feet beyond the upper landing surface.

'Repeat' Lack of Training

The “repeat” violation, with a proposed price tag of $6,160, stems from an allegation that Roof Kings did not provide employees with proper training on how to recognize and prevent fall hazards. The company was cited in 2014 for the same violation at another jobsite, resulting in the “repeat” classification for this item.

Other Violations

The nine “serious” violations range in nature from improperly secured fall protection systems to the use of electrical cords that were frayed or not properly grounded; fines range from $1,760 to $3,080.

One alleges that workers were throwing items from the roof of the building they were working on down to a dumpster on the ground, a distance of more than 20 feet, without a chute, exposing those on the ground to the risk of being hit by objects.

Source: Department of Labor

"Roof Kings has no excuse for knowingly and repeatedly failing to provide and ensure required fall protection safeguards,” said OSHA's Anthony Covello.

One “serious” violation deals with the alleged exposure of employees to lead contaminants. On the Haverhill, MA, jobsite that was inspected, OSHA alleges that Roof Kings did not test to determine whether flashing that was being removed would expose workers to lead at a level greater than the legal limit. The citation also alleges the company did not communicate the risk of lead exposure to its employees.

Past Violations

OSHA records indicate that Roof Kings has been cited twice before, both sets of violations having been issued in 2014. One citation, based on a November 2013 inspection, totaled $8,400 for three violations; the second, based on a May 2014 inspection, totaled $10,000 for seven violations.

Records indicate that the company did not contest either citation. Penalties for both citations have been “referred to debt collection,” according to OSHA’s online databased as of Aug. 15.

About Roof Kings

Roof Kings was incorporated in 2011, according to OSHA, and is based in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. According to its website, the company offers roofing, general contracting, snow removal and other services, including chimney and gutter repair.

A request for comment from Roof Kings was not returned as of Monday (August 15).

“Employees should never have to risk their lives for a paycheck. Roof Kings has no excuse for knowingly and repeatedly failing to provide and ensure required fall protection safeguards,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts.

Roof Kings was given 15 days from the date of issuance to contest the violations.


Tagged categories: Contractors; Department of Labor; Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; OSHA; Roofing contractors; Safety

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