Massachusetts serial violator The Roof Kings LLC faces $137K in new penalties for again exposing employees to life-threatening falls
BRAINTREE, MA – Four months after citing a Quincy roofing and construction contractor – with a long history of exposing its employees to dangerous fall hazards and who reneged on a 2017 federal settlement agreement – inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration discovered the employer again knowingly exposing workers to serious injuries or worse.
On Dec. 8, 2022, OSHA conducted a monitoring inspection at a company work site on Roach Street in Quincy to check if The Roof Kings LLC was complying with fall protection and other workplace safety standards. Instead, inspectors observed employees exposed to falls of up to 18 feet as they removed shingles from an unprotected two-story roof.
OSHA cited the company for four willful violations, totaling $137,508 in proposed penalties, for failing to:
- Provide employees an adequate fall protection system.
- Ensure employees’ fall protection equipment was effectively anchored to prevent falls.
- Inspect employees’ personal fall arrest systems prior to each use and remove defective components from service.
- Train employees in fall protection and how to recognize fall hazards.
“The Roof Kings LLC knows and continually ignores its responsibilities to protect employees from imminent hazards that can end their careers or lives,” said OSHA Area Director James Mulligan in Braintree, Massachusetts. “This company is a serial violator whose ongoing defiance of the law and willingness to put workers at risk of dangerous and disabling falls is troubling and potentially deadly. Workplace safety is not a game of chance, dependent on whether an employer chooses to protect or risk its employees’ well-being from day to day.”
OSHA last cited The Roof Kings for fall protection hazards on Sept. 22, 2022, at a work site in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood. There, inspectors observed workers exposed to fall hazards of up to 21 feet and identified six violations with $137,196 in penalties. The September citations are currently under contest.
In May 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit found The Roof Kings LLC in contempt for failing to honor a settlement agreement with OSHA reached in 2017. In the agreement, the company pledged to pay its outstanding OSHA penalties for the four previous inspections in Boston, Medford, Haverhill and Dorchester between 2014 and 2016, and employ specific safety and health abatement procedures.
Since the company failed to comply with the agreement, the department’s Office of the Solicitor asked that the company be found in contempt. The 1st Circuit did so, but the company still failed to comply. The 1st Circuit appointed a special master to recommend corrective actions that will bring the company into compliance. Among other things, the Department of Labor is now seeking a much greater penalty, plus interest. The penalty and interest are separate from the penalty being sought regarding this most recent citation.
“When a company fails to comply with the safety and health mandates and penalty payment obligations of a settlement agreement, the U.S. Department of Labor will use all legal tools available to hold the employer accountable,” said Regional Solicitor Maia Fisher. “If employers do not protect workers in the ways they themselves have promised, we will seek payment of higher penalties.”
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 986 construction workers died on the job in 2021, with 378 of those fatalities related to falls from elevation.
The Roof Kings LLC, a residential and commercial contractor operating in the Boston area for more than 30 years, has contested these latest citations and penalties to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.