Eastern Massachusetts roofing contractor again found exposing workers to fatal falls at Boston worksite
BRAINTREE, MA – A Quincy-based roofing contractor exposed workers on the roofs of a garage and house in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood to potentially fatal falls from heights between seven and 21 feet, U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found.
Since 2014, OSHA has cited The Roof Kings LLC five times for hazards related to falls, the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
Following its recent investigation, OSHA cited the contractor for four willful and two serious violations of workplace safety standards and proposed $137,196 in penalties.
Specifically, the contractor failed to:
- Provide adequate fall protection for employees working at heights of seven to 21 feet.
- Effectively train employees to recognize and minimize fall hazards.
- Extend a ladder at least three feet above an upper landing surface accessed by employees.
- Ensure that employees carrying construction materials as they climbed a ladder to access a work zone could grasp the ladder with at least one hand.
The employer also did not provide hardhats to workers to protect them from falling construction debris and materials, and failed to have a competent person conduct frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite, materials and equipment to identify and address potential hazards.
“The Roof Kings LLC continues to ignore the law and willfully expose its employees to falls,” said OSHA Area Director James Mulligan in Braintree, Massachusetts. “This employer’s repeated violations show an indefensible and inexcusable pattern of disregard for employees’ safety. OSHA will continue to take strong enforcement actions against such employers.”
The Roof Kings LLC has contested the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA previously cited The Roof Kings LLC for fall-related violations at worksites in Boston, Medford, Haverhill and Dorchester, Massachusetts between 2014 and 2016. In May 2021, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found the Roof Kings LLC in contempt for failing to honor a 2017 settlement agreement with OSHA in which the company pledged to pay its outstanding OSHA penalties for the four previous inspections and implement specific safety and health abatement procedures. The department’s Office of the Solicitor is currently engaged in ongoing proceedings on the matter with a Special Master appointed by the First Circuit.
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, there were 351 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities. Fall-related injuries and fatalities can be prevented through knowledge and training. Visit OSHA’s website for information on fall protection in residential construction and protecting roofing workers.
Employers can also contact OSHA for information about compliance assistance resources and for free help on complying with OSHA standards.