US Department of Labor again cites Appleton roofing contractor for exposing unprotected workers to a deadly industry hazard – falls from elevation
APPLETON, WI – Bacilio Rios, an Appleton roofing contractor who has shown callous disregard for employees’ safety and scoffed at federal safety requirements since 2009, now faces $301,512 in penalties after a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector observed four roofing workers at heights greater than 8 feet without protection to prevent serious or fatal injuries.
The inspector identified the latest violations on April 6, 2022, as workers removed materials from a residential roof in Appleton.
OSHA has repeatedly cited the operator of Rios Roofing for exposing employees to fall hazards. Federal inspectors found that the contractor typically hires workers for short time periods – sometimes for just a single job – and fails to provide adequate training on job hazards and safety procedures.
The agency cited Rios for two willful, one repeat violation and two serious violations for the fall hazards, and for failing to provide eye protection and use ladders correctly. Before that inspection, Rios Roofing’s had $114,130 in unpaid OSHA fines for similar violations identified in eight inspections from 2009 to 2019.
“Rios Roofing continually puts workers at risk with unsafe practices at job sites. Federal safety regulations are intended to greatly reduce the possibility that workers will suffer serious, debilitating and sometimes fatal fall injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton, Wisconsin. “Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry and yet, this employer assigns workers to perform dangerous tasks without providing safety gear and fails to train them on how to protect themselves.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,008 construction workers died on the job in 2020, with 351 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation.
OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures.
The company has 15 business 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.