The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued two willful, two repeated and six serious safety violations to Illinois contractor Barringer Brothers Roofing and fined the company $89,100 for failing to meet job site fall protection requirements.
OSHA said inspectors saw five Barringer roofers working on a residence at heights of 13 feet without the necessary fall protection.
The agency said the company's owner, Robert Barringer III, has been cited for fall protection violations through his other companies 19 times during the last 10 years and is currently in default on $267,900 in previous fines. OSHA said it added Barringer to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program in April.
Aaron Priddy, area director of the OSHA office in Fairview Heights, IL, said Barringer has shown "callous disregard" for worker safety and called his behavior around worker safety "shameless." Priddy added that preventable falls, more than any other job site hazard, cause the most construction-related deaths.
OSHA's severe violator program, which focuses on employers who willfully or repeatedly put employees at risk, subjects companies to more aggressive monitoring and inspection protocols. Under the program, OSHA has the right to inspect any of the employer's workplaces or project sites if it suspects there are similar violations occurring. Between 2010 and mid-April 2016, OSHA added approximately 520 companies to its Severe Violators, with 60% of them coming from the construction industry.
Earlier this week, OSHA fined a Massachusetts roofing company Roof King $124,960 for willful, repeat and serious violations when its inspectors found workers at heights of more than 45 feet without adequate fall protection. And earlier this month, the agency cited and fined two New York City contractors for also violating fall protection standards at a Manhattan site.
According to OSHA, preventable worker falls account for 40% of all construction industry deaths, which is why the issue continues to remain on the agency's radar. OSHA provides roofers with trade-specific ways to prevent falls, as it does to the general construction industry. The agency also holds a weeklong annual "National Safety Stand-Down" event, during which companies hold educational safety functions to highlight the importance of fall protection.