Enforcement and Inspection

Roofer Finds Out (the Hard Way) that Fines Aren’t Cheaper by the Dozen

A Florida roofing contractor that’s been investigated a dozen times since 2012 has been smacked with significant fines for failure to protect workers at two St. Augustine worksites.

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In early February of this year, an OSHA inspector observed employees without fall protection removing shingles and plywood sheeting from the roof of a multi-story residential building.

Although they were wearing harnesses, OSHA said the workers were not tied off to the rope grabs and roof anchors. After noticing additional employees of the same contractor working under similar conditions at a nearby site, a second inspection was initiated immediately. The actions were part of OSHA’s regional enforcement program for falls in construction.

OSHA cited the contractor with 14 violations and proposed penalties totaling more than $1.5 million. Given the employer’s prior history, OSHA issued 11 separate willful violations for failing to protect employees from fall hazards. OSHA also cited the company for three repeat violations for failing to ensure that employees used eye protection while operating nail guns and for ladders used to access roof sites that exposed employees to additional fall hazards.

Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer castigated the contractor for demonstrating indifference toward the safety of its employees, noting the business “made no reasonable effort to eliminate the hazard.”

As a result of the enforcement action, the company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to high-gravity, willful, egregious violations related to fall hazards.

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