TUMWATER, Wash. — The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has fined three Washington roofing companies more than a combined $768,000 for allowing workers to work on top of homes without using fall protection.
“It’s frustrating to see these repeat offenders continue to blatantly disregard their employees’ safety and health,” said Craig Blackwood, assistant director of L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Allways Roofing of Snohomish County, Wilson Roofing and Construction LLC of Kirkland, and Valentine Roofing Inc. of Tukwila received the following citations and penalties:
Allways Roofing received $425,000 for seven safety violations, including two egregious, willful, repeat violations. L&I states the fines are for failure to use fall protection or use material roofing brackets as tie off points. L&I also cited the employer for lack of worker eye protection while using nail guns, improper ladder use, and other safety violations observed by inspectors at a Snohomish home.
Allways Roofing was fined $1.2 million six months ago for the same violations. About a year ago, it was fined nearly $375,000. The company is in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program, subjecting it to greater scrutiny.
“That’s $2 million in fines over the last 12 months,” said Blackwood. “We won’t give up on our efforts to protect these workers no matter how many times we have to inspect, cite, and fine the company.”
Wilson Roofing & Construction
Wilson Roofing & Construction received $247,000 in fines for six safety violations including two egregious, willful, repeat violations for lack of fall protection and other safety violations while roofing a home in Ferndale.
According to L&I, inspectors witnessed three roofers wearing harnesses that were not attached to tie off ropes while working on a steep pitched roof with a fall height of about 22 feet.
In the last three years, L&I has inspected Wilson Roofing & Construction twice following falls from heights, which resulted in hospitalized employees. In March 2019, the company was cited and fined $42,000 for not ensuring fall protection was being used by its roofers. Like Allways Roofing, Wilson Roofing & Construction is now a Severe Violator.
Valentine Roofing Inc.
L&I fined Valentine Roofing $94,000 for four serious safety violations. A homeowner in Lake Tapps contacted L&I with photographs of Valentine Roofing employees working up to 16 feet high on the roof without wearing fall protection and without using eye protection while using a nail gun.
State inspectors said they also observed skylights and roof holes that did not have guardrails to prevent workers from falling through. The agency has inspected Valentine Roofing nine times over the past three years and cited it repeatedly for fall protection violations.
Allways Roofing and Wilson Roofing appealed their citations and fines. Valentine Roofing has until Jan. 27 to file an appeal.
“Falls are the most common cause of death in construction,” said Blackwood. “If this continues, it’s just a matter of time before another injury or fatality occurs at one of these companies. L&I is working diligently to make sure that doesn’t happen.”