April 2, 2008
Contact: Sharon Worthy David Sims
Phone: 202-693-4676 202-693-1898
U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA cites Winter's Architectural Roofing for alleged workplace safety and health violations
Proposed penalties total $224,000
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued Winter's Architectural Roofing Co., based in Carbon Cliff, Ill., eight citations for alleged safety and health violations following its investigation after the death of one employee. Proposed penalties total $224,000.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois, at Rock Island also charged Stephen Vyncke, a superintendent employed by Winter's, for allegedly obstructing OSHA's investigation of the accident. Obstruction of an agency proceeding is a felony offense.
"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration applauds the U.S. Attorney's decision to prosecute Vyncke because it sends a strong message that obstructing an OSHA investigation is a serious offense that will not be tolerated," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr.
On Oct. 10, 2007, an employee was killed when he fell 16 feet through a skylight. OSHA issued eight willful citations to the company for its failure to provide fall protection in hoisting areas and on low-sloped roofs; failing to cover skylight openings to prevent falls; and not training employees about fall hazards. Seven of the citations allege per-instance willful violations of three OSHA requirements. A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
Prior to this investigation, OSHA inspected Winter's Architectural Roofing in 2002, resulting in a serious citation for failing to provide fall protection during roofing operations. The company has been in business since 1937.
Winter's Architectural Roofing has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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