U.S. Department of Labor Cites New York Roofing Contractor again for Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards

U.S. Department of Labor Cites New York Roofing Contractor again for Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards

Despite a 2019 fatality within the company, ALJ Home Improvement continues to ignore risks and is now facing $244K in new penalties.

Three federal safety inspections conducted at a Suffren condominium complex confirmed that a Rockland County roofing contractor repeatedly exposed residential roof workers to potentially deadly falls from 18 to 20 feet, according to a press release. OSHA identified nine willful violations in its inspections of ALJ Home Improvement Inc. work sites from May 11 through May 13, 2021. The violations include employees working without required fall protection while removing sheathing and performed other roofing work, and workers lacking protective headgear and face and eye shields to prevent injuries from flying or falling debris, plywood, nails and other objects.

Residential construction employers must generally protect workers against falls by law. Employers should provide guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems when they work six feet or more above lower levels. They must also provide PPE to protect against any sort of injury.

ALJ Home Improvement faces $244,581 in proposed penalties following the May inspections. OSHA cited the company for fall-related hazards at three other work sites in New York and New Jersey between 2019 and 2021, including one in Kiamesha Lake where a worker died after a fall in February 2019.

“ALJ Home Improvement’s intentional and repeated failure to install required fall safeguards continues to place its employees at risk of deadly or disabling injuries,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Garvey in Tarrytown. “Fall-related fatalities are preventable if responsible employers plan ahead to do the job safely, provide their workers with proper and effective training and equipment, and make sure they use it.”

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work in the U.S., accounting for 320 deaths out of 1,008 construction fatalities in 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.

Learn more about fall protection in construction.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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