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February 10, 2023
Massachusetts roofer facing $137,508 in new OSHA fines

A Quincy, Massachusetts, roofer is facing $137,508 in new Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines after the agency cited The Roof Kings LLC for again knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening fall injuries, OSHA announced February 9.

On December 8, OSHA inspected a worksite on Roach Street in Quincy to check if The Roof Kings was complying with fall protection and other workplace safety standards. Agency inspectors observed employees were exposed to falls of up to 18 feet as they removed shingles from an unprotected two-story roof.

Inspectors cited the company for four willful violations for failing to:

  • Provide employees with an adequate fall protection system.
  • Ensure employees’ fall protection equipment was effectively anchored to prevent falls.
  • Inspect employees’ personal fall arrest systems before use, and remove defective components from service.
  • Train employees in fall protection and how to recognize fall hazards.

The Roof Kings has a long history of exposing its employees to fall hazards; according to the agency, the company reneged on a 2017 federal settlement agreement and was cited again 4 months ago.

“The Roof Kings LLC knows and continually ignores its responsibilities to protect employees from imminent hazards that can end their careers or lives,” James Mulligan, OSHA’s Braintree, Massachusetts, area director, said in an agency statement. “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.”

OSHA most recently cited The Roof Kings for fall protection hazards on September 22, 2022, at a worksite in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood. There, inspectors observed workers were exposed to fall hazards of up to 21 feet and identified 6 violations, with $137,196 in penalties. The company is currently contesting the September citations.

In May 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit found The Roof Kings in contempt for failing to honor a settlement agreement reached with OSHA in 2017. As part of the settlement agreement, the company pledged to pay its outstanding OSHA penalties for the 4 previous inspections between 2014 and 2016 in Boston, Medford, Haverhill, and Dorchester and put specific safety and health abatement procedures in place.

Because the company failed to comply with the agreement, the Labor Department’s Office of the Solicitor asked that the company be found in contempt. Although the 1st Circuit did so, the company still failed to comply. The 1st Circuit appointed a special master to recommend corrective actions that will bring the company into compliance.

The Department of Labor (DOL) is now seeking a higher penalty, plus interest. The penalty and interest are separate from penalties for the most recent citations. 

“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,” Maia Fisher, the DOL’s regional solicitor, said in an agency statement. “If employers do not protect workers in the ways they themselves have promised, we will seek payment of higher penalties.”

Falls are one of the construction industry's “fatal four” hazards, along with electrocution, caught-in/-between, and struck-by hazards. OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard remains the agency’s most frequently cited standard, cited 5,260 times in fiscal year 2022.

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