Safety citations against Florida roofer affirmed

An administrative law judge of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed two citations and assessed a $8,149 penalty per citation against a Florida roofing company.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected All-Pro Construction Services Inc., which performs roofing work on new residences being built in central Florida, in January and February 2018, and issued two citations and a penalty notice in April 2018 alleging serious violations of the agency’s fall protection standard, according to review commission documents.

All-Pro denied the allegations and pleaded the affirmative defense of unpreventable employee misconduct, which the administrative law judge rejected after finding that the company failed to establish it had a fall protection rule in place at the time of the inspections and that it adequately communicated its alleged rule to its employees.

The law judge also rejected the defense because All-Pro failed to establish it took all reasonable steps to discover noncompliance — including the company’s admission it did not have a supervisor at either worksite — and did not produce evidence that steps were taken to shore up its fall protection measures after the initial inspection.

The law judge also concluded All-Pro failed to establish it enforced the rule against employees after All-Pro’s president testified that employees had been suspended and terminated for violating OSHA regulations in the previous five years, but provided no specific examples or dates or records of any disciplinary actions despite the company’s record retention rules, according to review commission documents.

The law judge reduced the penalties by 10% because no evidence was offered of a history of previous violations in the past five years.

The law judge’s decision became a final order of the review commission on Tuesday.

An attorney and spokesperson for the company could not be immediately reached for comment.