Area Director Calls Out Denver-Area Roofing Contractors

"Consumers need to ask questions, such as: Are the installers your employees or subcontractors? Are they insured? What is their past work history? How will the project be managed? What kind of fall protection will be used? Hold your contractors accountable," Englewood, Colo. OSHA Area Director David Nelson said. "The last thing a consumer wants is someone falling, especially on their property."

David Nelson, OSHA's area director in Englewood, Colo., this week said the companies in the residential roofing business in Denver and surrounding communities, including Pueblo and Colorado Springs, are being cited in record numbers for failing to provide necessary fall prevention equipment and training. As a result, OSHA is teaming up with organizations that include the Colorado Roofing Association and the Better Business Bureau.

"In the past six months, we have received 63 complaints related to unsafe work practices, and this is the beginning of the roofing season. The cost of providing fall prevention equipment is nominal compared with the cost of a senseless loss of life and livelihood," Nelson said. "Falls from heights of 6 to 15 feet accounted for 24 percent of all fatal falls in 2012."

OSHA held a national safety stand down June 2-6, estimating that more than 1 million workers stopped work for one hour during the week to discuss the importance of recognizing fall hazards and implementing fall safety measures.

"Consumers should be aware that, in many cases, the contractor they sign an agreement with is not necessarily the contractor installing the roof. Many roofing companies are using a different name with a higher Better Business Bureau rating to get the job, but have no roofers to do the install," said Nelson. "Consumers need to ask questions, such as: Are the installers your employees or subcontractors? Are they insured? What is their past work history? How will the project be managed? What kind of fall protection will be used? Hold your contractors accountable. The last thing a consumer wants is someone falling, especially on their property."

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA, the Englewood Area Office at 303-843-4500, or the Denver Area Office (for northern Colorado) at 303-844-5285.

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