JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Florida Roofing Experts Inc. — a Jacksonville, Fla. roofing contractor owned by Travis Slaughter — for failing to protect workers from falls at two work sites in Fleming Island and one in Middleburg, Fla. 

Florida Roofing Experts Inc. faces penalties totaling $1,007,717.

OSHA said in a release that it initiated inspections on July 11 and 12, 2019, after receiving complaints on July 9, 2019 of employees performing residential reroofing activities without fall protection.

On July 11, OSHA witnessed employees operating without fall protection on a 6:12 pitched residential roof, while at another site eight employees on a 7:12 pitch residential roof were seen not using fall protection. On July 12, four employees were seen working on a residential roof with a 7:12 pitch and not using personal fall protection systems. 

OSHA has investigated Florida Roofing Experts and its predecessor, Great White Construction, 19 times within the last seven years, resulting in 42 citations related to improper fall protection, ladder use, and eye protection. Given the employer’s extensive history of violations, pursuant to OSHA’s egregious citation policy, the agency issued eight willful citations for failing to protect employees from fall hazards.

“This employer has an extensive OSHA history with willful, serious, and repeat violations that has demonstrated an egregious disregard for the safety of their workers,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer, in Atlanta, Ga. “The employer continues to allow employees to work without fall protection, and has made no reasonable effort to eliminate the risk.”

Given these investigations and citations, OSHA has placed Florida Roofing Experts in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to high-gravity willful, egregious violations related to fall hazards.

The contractor is already under scrutiny with the U.S. Department of Labor. According to a release, the department filed a petition against Slaughter with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for failing to pay $2.2 million in safety and health violations.

The petition alleges that Slaughter failed to comply with the court's order on October 2017 and June 2018 orders based on evidence that his companies failed to provide proof of abatement and continued to violate OSHA safety standards.

“This enforcement action demonstrates that OSHA will utilize every resource available to ensure that safety and health standards are followed to protect workers,” said Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain. “Employers that ignore multiple court orders requiring correction of violations and payment of penalties will be held accountable.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the most recent citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

View the full citation here.