October 6, 2016
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A Syracuse roofing contractor with a history of safety violations has again exposed its employees to potentially fatal fall hazards at one of its worksites, this time in Camillus.
Inspectors from the Syracuse Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found employees of The Roofing Guys Inc. exposed to falls of up to 20 feet as they worked without fall protection atop a residential roof at 100 Gulf Rd. They also found the employer allowed an additional fall hazard created by a roof access ladder that did not extend at least 3 feet above the roof’s edge for required stability.
OSHA had previously cited the company between 2011 and 2015 for similar hazards at other roofing jobs in Liverpool, Marcellus, Syracuse and North Syracuse.
“This pattern of non-compliance is disturbing. This employer knows that effective fall protection is not just a necessity, it’s required by law. Workers are just one slip, trip or misstep away from a deadly or disabling fall each time fall protection is absent or inadequate. The Roofing Guys needs to take ongoing and effective action to ensure that all its employees are safeguarded at all its worksites,” said Jeffrey Prebish, OSHA’s acting area director in Syracuse.
As a result of this latest inspection, OSHA cited The Roofing Guys Inc. for two repeat violations of workplace safety standards. Proposed penalties for these violations total $96,027. The citations can be viewed here.
“Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work. These deaths can be prevented if employers plan ahead to do the job safely and provide their employees with proper training and safety equipment. Employers who needlessly and repeatedly fail to do so are gambling with their workers’ lives and well-being,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York.
The company’s latest violations led OSHA to place The Roofing Guys Inc. in the agency’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Syracuse Area Office at 315-451-0808.